Things will always go wrong in organisations. The question is how quickly will they get caught and put right?
The problem facing every organisation today - our businesses, universities, health services, or the many other sporting and charitable institutions that shape our society - is that the relationship between their executive management and those whose job it is to oversee them (whether they are called non-executive or independent directors, trustees, or governors) has become unbalanced.
The Independent Director in Society shows how to rebalance it.
Based on original, in-depth research from Henley Business School, this is the first book to survey and analyse the governance crisis right across society rather than just focus upon the business sector. The authors show that - despite their many differences - all organisations have many issues, behaviours and problems in common. The same problems require, in many cases, the same solutions. Sometimes they don't.
The authors offer two answers. The first lies in the realm of policy. Not a need for more legislation, but a move to give the existing codes of practice back their teeth and make them fit for purpose.
The second lies with independent directors themselves. Urgent improvement is needed in standards of thought and action as well as the calibre of these directors. Above all, directors need to develop an independent mindset that will enable them to make better, more accurate decisions.
There are many elements to creating this culture, including selection, training and education for directors, and support from chairs and executive teams, but most of all directors themselves must recognise their responsibilities in a complex and volatile world.
Gerry Brown is Chairman of both private equity firm Novaquest Capital Management, and of G. Brown Associates Ltd - a family company providing consultancy services. He is a Council Member of the University of Exeter and Visiting Fellow at Henley Business School, UK. He is a Fellow of the Institute of Directors, and on the Advisory Board for Corporate Governance. He has held several independent director and chairman posts in public and private companies across a variety of industries and geographies, and is the author of The Independent Director: The Non-Executive Director's Guide to Effective Board Presence (Palgrave Macmillan, 2015).
Filipe Morais is Lecturer in Governance at Henley Business School. He is Programme Director for Henley's MSc in Management for Future Leaders, and teaches corporate governance and strategic management topics in various programmes. He is a regular speaker at academic and practitioner conferences. He formerly worked for over 10 years in senior HR and general management positions in the automotive, semiconductor, health and higher education industries in the UK and Portugal. In 2018, he received the Academy of Management's Outstanding Reviewer Award.
Andrew Kakabadse is Professor of Governance and Leadership at Henley Business School, where he is also Programme Director of the Board Directors' Programme. He was previously Professor of International Management Development at Cranfield School of Management, UK, where he was made Emeritus Professor. He has consulted and lectured widely, and his current areas of interest focus on improving the performance of top executives, executive teams, and boards; excellence in consultancy practice; leadership; and corporate governance.
1. Introduction.- 2. Challenges and opportunities.- 3. Independence and value creation.- 4. Engaged stewardship: governance and service.- 5. The importance of knowledge.- 6. Engagement and evidence.- 7. The role of the chair.- 8. Making impact.- 9. Selection, training and evaluation.- 10. Recommendations for policy.