Is Your Board of Directors / Advisors More Ceremonial, Liberated or Progressive?

16 Jul

Boards around the world have evolved greatly over the centuries. There are even Personal Board of Directors. Some non-profits have a board of over 50 people and other private companies have three board members. No matter the size of the board, it likely fits into one of the three categories that author Ram Charan describes in his book “Boards That Deliver.”

The first type of board is the Ceremonial Board. This is often described as a “good old boys” board. All the board members were friends or former colleagues of the CEO and were there more to rubber stamp the CEO’s strategy and business plan. This is often the case in private companies, especially when the board is comprised of advisors that do professional work for the company such as a banker, lawyer or CPA. This type of a board brings little value to the company.

The second is a Liberated Board. This is a more involved board in the true governance of the company. A Liberated Board is a truly independent group of directors or advisors. This means that there are no ties to the company and the directors vote and act independently. This can, at first, be very distracting to the CEO and the company trying to satisfy a variety of independent directors or advisors.

The third and final one is the Progressive Board. These boards come together as a team but maintain their independent viewpoint. A telltale sign of a Progressive Board is one that is very diverse. This includes age, gender, race, geography, experience, etc. Progressive Boards work closely with the CEO and the senior management team inside and outside the boardroom. The board members best represent the stakeholders (ownership, employees, customers, suppliers, communities, etc.)

A Progressive Board is within reach of any company when the benefits achieved help keep the company going steady during stormy times and blossoming in good times. For more information about our services and how we can help call or click here.