• Categories: Further reading
  • Published: Jul 1, 2024
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Each month we signpost for you some good reading on governance from around the web

How management can get the best from its board 

This piece by Roger Martin is about how management can get the most out of its board. While directed at management teams, it offers an equally useful perspective for directors frustrated with their executive teams! Martin explains how management teams unwittingly create conditions that guarantee they will get little from their boards beyond nitpicking and opinions that are of little practical value. He proposes four rules for getting the board to do work that is both useful from a management perspective, and engaging and worthwhile for the board. This should be compulsory reading for both management and board members. 

Why your board may be your most significant cyber security threat

How effective is your approach to maintaining the confidentiality of board materials? A very useful piece by Kayla Schembri, published in Across the Board, this article highlights the security issues that arise because many directors wear multiple hats and perform their responsibilities in many different locations. They are trusted with and must navigate different sets of what can be deeply sensitive information. Each set may be subject to various information management policies and security implications. Schembri poses questions that organisations and those who serve them need to be able to answer about managing different sets of information correctly. 


Why so many bad bosses still rise to the top 

Dr Tomas Chamorro-Premuzic, author of Why Do So Many Incompetent Men Become Leaders?: (And How to Fix It) talks to McKinsey. The following quote sums it up: 

There’s a lot of antimeritocratic and implicit positive discrimination going on that favours not just men but overconfident, narcissistic, and incompetent men when it comes to leadership roles. 

McKinsey Insights.  


A long read on Boeing 

From the Stanford Closer Look series, a close look at the 737 Max debacle: 

Boeing’s board appears to have failed on multiple dimensions, including inadequate oversight of objective setting, failure to monitor tone at the top, risk management, and internal controls. 

Boeing closer look.  


The ‘governance curve’ 

An interesting framework from the American provider of digital governance tools, which suggests there are four levels of activity: infrastructure, foundational, breakthrough and strategy. As the board moves up the list, complexity and stakeholder value both increase. They use one of our favourite terms, intentionality—the board taking control of its work and in particular its focus on the future.