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Anyone who has never made a mistake has never tried anything new.Albert Einstein

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Owning Up

Owning Up

A complete panorama of how boards of directors function, illustrated with many concrete examples and descriptions of observed best practices.

Author(s): Ram Charan

Publisher: Jossey Bass

Date of publication: 2009

Buy this book [amazon.com]


In 14 questions, the author provides a complete panorama of boards of directors. He naturally covers the fundamentals, such as the composition of the board and shareholder relations. He also covers more recent topics that have emerged in the course of recent crises, such as risk management and board assessment. Each topic is addressed through concrete examples and a description of observed best practices. One CEO, for instance, shares the challenges he encountered in attempting to capitalize fully on the board, given that a director tended to monopolize discussion with a pet topic, i.e. contracts with China, despite the fact that neither the subject matter nor the money at stake was strategic for the company. Instilling peer evaluations and sensitizing the board chairman and the CEO to their role in regulating discussions ultimately helps to limit this micro-management pitfall.

This book is both rich and precise, and lends itself to focused reading concerning questions that will most interest the reader.