David Dodson: What Makes a Board Work? | Summary and Q&A

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December 4, 2015
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Stanford Graduate School of Business
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David Dodson: What Makes a Board Work?

TL;DR

CEOs can build trust and instill confidence in board members by focusing on transparency, running efficient meetings, and delivering results.

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Questions & Answers

Q: What are the key elements of trust in board meetings?

Trust in board meetings is built through transparency, protecting information, and focusing on company performance. It's not about creating an image or projecting confidence, but rather delivering results and running efficient meetings.

Q: How can CEOs instill confidence in board members?

CEOs can instill confidence by running efficient meetings that respect everyone's time and allow for productive discussions. Confidence also comes from delivering results over time, rather than being a showman in the boardroom.

Q: How can CEOs determine if they have a good board?

CEOs should assess whether they leave board meetings prepared to make changes and learn from the discussions. A good board is not one where everyone agrees, but one that challenges and provides valuable insights.

Q: What should a CEO do if they feel their board is not functioning well?

If the board is not functioning well, the CEO should diagnose whether it's a problem with the people or the process. If it's the process, seeking advice from someone experienced can help identify and fix the issues.

Summary & Key Takeaways

  • Trust in board meetings is built through transparency, protecting information, and focusing on company performance.

  • Confidence in board meetings comes from running efficient meetings and allowing everyone to have a chance to contribute.

  • CEOs should prioritize adding shareholder value and running the company and board meetings effectively.

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