The “Forward Thinking” Boardroom

By Fay Feeney
Broads Circle Advisory Board Member

On June 1st, we’ll be having another “must attend” outstanding program for Broads on Boards.  Yes, I’m a little partial because Dick Poladian and I have been colleagues since high school.  It is a special kind of pleasure to see one of my Culver City classmates make it to the big time.  I’m not only a life-long fan of Dick’s but so thrilled that he’s joining us to share the perspective of how he made it into a Fortune 250 boardroom while still in his 50’s.  In a recent issue of Directors & Board the cover story was “Are Boards Too Old?”  According to Institutional Shareholder Services, Inc., age ranges for the S&P 500 directors in their 50’s represent 29.2%.  Under-40 directors represent 5.3% , and I’ll let you do the math on directors 60 and older.

Being open to a diverse perspective includes having age as a factor.  At any age, the measure I consider is a willingness to refresh knowledge and not relying on solely on experience in a rapidly changing, 24/7 globally connected world.  I’ve included a recent post from www.riskforgood.com where we execute on “strategic board management” plans for board chairs to lead the “forward thinking” boardroom.  Please register for the June 1st event and join the conversation!

The “Forward Thinking” Boardroom

I’ve been thinking a lot lately about how to help corporate board chairs take “intelligent risk.”  Their role is more complex than ever and the time available to lead has placed heavy demands on meeting regulatory compliance issues.

This narrative has been playing out in boardrooms since the dawn of time.  How do I get my team together and lead the hunt in a world of risks?  The backdrop has changed from physical risk to strategic risk; however, many of the same leadership challenges remain.

As leaders of the boardroom, you can only take risks when you’ve set up the relationships around you for success.  This takes time and insight to nurture, support and provide resources for your directors and CEO.

This is business-critical, as innovation requires faster and faster execution on ideas.  With the socially-connected 24/7 news cycle occurring, the board chair is bringing this together in a disclosure-rich, “report or explain” world.

I recently attended a Leadership program led by Nancy Fredericks, who co-wrote Dancing on the Glass Ceiling.  You can find more information here

Nancy reminded me that once you are trusted to lead (as CEO or as board chair), your primary role is leading other leaders.  Your view of the world is “out into the future,” not today.

With that inspiration, I’ve focused Risk for Good on Advising “Forward Thinking” Boards one Board Chair at a time.

I’m interested in your thoughts on what board chairs need to be able to see “out into the future,” and would appreciate you taking a minute to email me at fay@riskforgood.com.  All ideas are welcomed.  Premium members are offered a complimentary strategic call with me to assess your “board readiness”.  Please check out our site for details.

Fay Feeney is CEO of Risk for Good, an advisory firm providing board chairs and corporate counsel guidance to monitor, govern and leverage the fast-moving landscape of social media, technology and the Internet.  You can visit her at www.riskforgood.com.

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