Why Diversity Matters on Your Board of Directors

Boards of directors have slowly begun to recognize the value of diversity in deliberation. While they still make up only a fraction of total directorships, the number of women and people of color in America’s boardrooms has grown significantly over the past five years. But representation of gender, race, religion, age, sexual orientation, and disability in corporate governance has a long way to go. Let’s take a closer look at the value of representation, in the boardroom to learn what your organization stands to gain when it makes diversity a priority.

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The Life-Changing Magic of Better Decision-Making

The KonMari Method and Your Board

If you have Netflix, you’ve probably heard the name “Marie Kondo”. If not, there’s a good chance you’ll soon encounter Marie Kondo and her book, The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up. The KonMari Method has taken the cultural zeitgeist by storm. But do the lessons of Ms. Kondo carry weight in the boardroom? Let’s talk about it.

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Guiding Board Feedback to Preserve Candor | Cut to the Candor (Part Two)

For a board of directors to deliberate effectively, there’s often some amount of “ice” to be broken with regards to receiving honest feedback. In the last installment of our two-part series, Cut to the Candor: Breaking the Ice for Honest Insights, we discussed some of the many reasons someone contributing to board decision-making (either in the Evaluation or the Deliberation Phase) might reserve their candid opinions. Finding the source of hesitation plays an important role in the subject of our final installment: guiding board feedback to preserve candor.

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Finding the Source of Board Member Hesitation | Cut to the Candor (Part One)

Preserving candor in your board of directors can make or break effective deliberation. Effective decision-making relies on informed, honest, and direct communication. So, why are honest insights often so hard to find? What can you do to ensure your board cuts straight to the candor when making a decision? Let’s find out in the first installment of our two-part series — Cut to the Candor: Breaking the Ice for Honest Insights!

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Two-Tier Board Structure

In the United States, we’re used to a one-tiered structure of board governance. Board members are appointed to govern and oversee the operations of a company. The limits of their power are laid out in a set of bylaws. As needed, a board may call for the formation of a separate advisory board or committees to serve in a more focused capacity. This is the board structure we know. But it is not the only one. Continue reading

The Value of Marketing Expertise on Your Board

Board members are busy people. It’s a simple truth. Unfortunately, that simple truth can make keeping up with best practices in board governance next to impossible. But don’t worry. Our series, Research Recap, will keep you in the loop on the latest findings in governance research. No frills. No fancy language. We’ll give you exactly what you need to know! Continue reading

Research Recap: When to Deviate in Corporate Governance

Are you keen on keeping up to date on the latest research in corporate governance? Don’t have time for pages of needlessly pretentious verbiage? Then this is the series for you. In Research Recap, Directorpoint gives boards of directors the need-to-knows on corporate governance hot off the presses of the leading industry journals. Just tell people you read the full thing; we’re not snitchin’. Continue reading
corporate governance

What Does Good Corporate Governance Look Like?

It’s easy to talk about strengthening your board of directors, but how do you know when you’ve reached a high-functioning level of corporate governance?

In this day and age, building and maintaining a successful board means checking off many different boxes. As the role of the corporate director continues to expand and technology keeps leaping forward, board members should take the time to reflect on their impact as individuals and as a group.

Here are some signs that your board is thriving:

Directors have a firm understanding of their responsibilities

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esg standards

Why Board Members Need to Understand ESG Standards

On Tuesday morning, January 16, Laurence Fink—founder and CEO of the investment firm BlackRock—sent an important letter to the CEOs of the world’s largest companies. In that letter, he explained, “Society is demanding that companies, both public and private, serve a social purpose. To prosper over time, every company must not only deliver financial performance, but also show how it makes a positive contribution to society.”

BlackRock is the largest investor in the world—thereby giving Fink’s voice a great deal of power and influence. But what exactly do his statements mean?

Put simply, Fink’s letter advocates for Environmental, Social and Governance criteria, which is commonly referred to as ESG. Investopedia defines esg standards as “a set of standards for a company’s operations that socially conscious investors use to screen investments.”

The environmental element examines how a company is handling their impact on the natural environment.

The social portion of the criteria scrutinizes how the company handles its relationships—with employees, partners, customers, its local communities, and more.

The governance component analyzes exactly what you’d expect: executive leadership as well as pay, auditing processes, shareholders rights, etc.
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Board Membership 101: Strategic Guidance

Board Membership 101: Strategic Guidance

Leadership is the capacity to translate vision into reality.

He may not have known it at the time, but when Warren Bennis (American scholar and pioneer of Leadership Studies) penned those words, he was aptly explaining what strategic guidance means for the boardroom today.

Directors must be prepared not only to envision the future of the company, but also to find the best way to guide it into the fulfillment of that vision.

To understand what strategic guidance means exactly, we must take a look at the two words individually.

Strategy

Crafting company strategy is an essential function of a board of directors. Simply stated, board members must bring their assortment of individual knowledge and experience to the table in order to seek out the best path forward for the business.

Strategic thinking takes many elements into consideration: goal setting, prioritization, realistic financial planning, and more. The expectation is that board members should be looking at the horizon rather than at the ground beneath their feet.
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