Thursday, November 10, 2011

Boardroom Q&A

The latest must-read book from America’s other governance curmudgeon, Ralph Ward, is titled, Boardroom Q&A - Ralph Ward Answers Your Toughest Boardroom Questions (published by Boardroom INSIDER; Kindle edition only (August 7, 2011)). 

Ralph Ward is writer, editor, publisher and everything else for Boardroom INSIDER, the electronic governance newsletter he’s produced since 1997.  See his web site for a complete description of Mr. Ward, his books, his newsletter and all things INSIDER:

Curmudgeon? Mr. Ward admits to as much, himself, here:

“I’ve taken a deliberately contrarian approach to the topic of corporate governance.”

Mr. Ward’s latest book is a compendium of eighty-eight Q&As (questions and answers) plus another fifteen answers-only that he’s fielded from readers and advisors through his BI newsletter. Boardroom Q&A is a treasure-trove of information now assembled in a Kindle-only edition.

This excerpt should make aspiring board candidates feel a little less intimidated:

  “The men and women who serve on the world’s corporate boards are already supposed to know all these answers . . . but often they don’t.” 

Another insight suggests that candidates also are not the only ones trying to learn all this best practices stuff by hook or by crook:  

“All [corporate directors] tend to be smart, conscientious and business savvy.  Yet, they’ve had to teach themselves how to wrestle with the unique personal, logistical, tactical and legal issues encountered behind boardroom doors.” [Emphasis added.]

It’s great to see that many of the experts Mr. Ward cites in the answers are leading women in governance consulting or executive search -- re-affirming our oft-argued premise that it doesn’t matter what the percentages are, what does matter is the caliber of the women who do step up to the plate.

The topics addressed by Mr. Ward cover the basics, but also provide room for creative and innovative thinking-- something for which he  is more than well-known:

·                     Board Structure and Procedures
·                     Wrestling with Board Information
·                     Personal Issues
·                     Liabilities
·                     My Personal Board Portfolio
·                     Paysetting for Boards and Execs
·                     Crises
·                     Board Leadership
·                     Board/Management Issues

Especially check out the Q&A, “Tempting Reluctant Board Candidates” under the category, My Personal Board Portfolio, and “Nonprofit Boards Battling Hard Times” under Crises.  Mr. Ward pops old myths, along with the best of them.

It's a pleasure to report that Mr. Ward's book review is our 400th posting since starting the ChampionBoards blog in 2005.

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