By Andrew Kakabadse
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Extra info for Leading the board: The six disciplines of world-class chairmen
In the 18th and 19th centuries, this rudimentary form of enterprise unashamedly exploited the resource riches of the Indias and Americas and, in turn, became the capstone of North American industrial enterprise. With unparalleled growth, concern arose over the unfettered power of the board, its directors, and particularly that of the owner/chairman. Ironically, it was in the land of free enterprise, America, and not in administratively pedantic Britain that the first serious attempts for governance were initiated.
The effective exercise of such functions requires attention to three considerations: board composition, board functioning, and respecting boundaries. l. Board composition. It is up to the chairman to identify and gain agreement of the skills required by the board. The involvement of the CEO in this debate is particularly critical. "I see the board bringing a group of skills that complement the staff," says Kate Davies, CEO of the Notting Hill Housing Trust. Even as a public service organization providing for the accommodation needs of a broad spectrum of Londoners, Kate Davies 37 38 Leading the board emphasizes the complementarity of skills between board and professional management.
I determine the role and tasks of the CEO and of my role as chairman of the board. My management team and board are happy with that. Their concern surfaces when I'm not clear or I swap and change the roles and the boundaries between these roles," says the chairman, president, and CEO of a large US financial services company. Reality check • Draw up a list of one good and one bad boss you have known. • Identify the characteristics of both, highlighting their strengths and weaknesses, attractive features and vulnerabilities.