board of directors

Solving (or embracing?) conflicts of interest

08.15.2016

I’ve had to resolve many conflicts of interest over the years. I’ve always felt uneasy about them, and often went to extremes just to avoid the impression of a conflict of interest. Then someone said something to me that really got me thinking: “If you don’t have any conflicts of interest, you’re not doing anything […]

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Gemba Academy podcast: Getting the Board on Board with Lean with Jamie Flinchbaugh

11.30.2015

While attending the Summit on Lean Leadership by Lean Frontiers in partnership with the Lean Leadership Academy, I was leading a discussion on the lean board of directors. Coming out of the conference, I will produce a paper outlining some of the key thoughts. We discussed 3 aspects of the lean board: 1. Educating the […]

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Does innovation belong in the scope of a board of directors?

06.15.2014

Boards of directors are usually associated with governance issues such as risk management and financial controls. They of course have a major role in strategic direction, either in establishing it, approving, or hiring the right executives who will establish the strategic vision. But does that extend all the way into such amorphous topics such as […]

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Reflections on 5 years of board service

12.10.2013

I’ve written about lean in the boardroom, and plan to write much more on the topic. I recently resigned my post at the Board of Directors of a privately-held company during its turnaround. Upon my planned departure, I wanted to share some of my reflections on this experience, as each board of directors is unique, […]

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Did King’s Dream include diversity in the boardroom?

08.28.2013

Today marks the 50th anniversary of Martin Luther King Jr.’s I Have a Dream speech, one of the most significant and impactful speeches in American history. There is no question that in 50 years, tremendous progress has been made, and yet not nearly enough. But has this dream come true in the boardroom? Not quite, […]

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What’s the proper election rotation of board members, annual or classes?

11.01.2011

Bad boards have been in the news lately. The ongoing debacles at HP and Yahoo seem almost comical, to the point that you can literally imagine clowns running around in the board room. Of course, the easy thing for many people to assume is that they are just made up of bad people. This is […]

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The relationship between the CEO and the Board of Directors

09.15.2010

Recently a lot has been made of the relationship between a CEO and their board of directors. Mark Hurd recently ousted by the HP board is a case in point. This had nothing to do with performance, and everything to do with the relationship, communication, and trust. Last week I attended a discussion hosted by […]

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Valid or reliable – in the board room

07.30.2010

In my last post on the theme of looking at metrics as either valid or reliable and the balance between them, I wanted to examine the impact on decisions in the board room. So far we have covered the following: Valid or reliable – take your pick Valid or reliable – trying to break the […]

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Setting Board Priorities

07.06.2010

GE’s Board of Directors from a couple of years ago. What should boards of directors be focused on? Strategy? People? Competition? There might be several choices that could receive votes that you could feel comfortable about. Would you feel comfortable knowing that the board’s top priority is keeping up with new regulation? That’s exactly what […]

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Long Term Success of the Family-Held Business

06.08.2010

Last week I spotlighted some success and failures in family-held businesses in Zildjian versus Viacom. When done poorly, the family can destroy the business, or the business can destroy the family. How can you avoid some of the bad outcomes? I think two major factors must be considered: influence and succession. Influence Influence must help […]

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