Governing and Directing: Are They Different?

A Survey of CEO attitudes to their boards by respected commentator Jeffrey Sonnenfeld and his colleagues, shouldn’t’ surprise anyone: CEOs complain that boards often lack the intestinal fortitude for the level of risk taking that healthy growth requires. “Board members are supposed to bring long-term prudence to a company,” as one CEO says, but this often translates to protecting the status quo and suppressing the bold thinking about reinvention that enterprises need when strategic contexts shift.
Consensus is growing that public company boards are too focused on compliance and are ignoring their role as creators of enduring value for the firms they direct. But it’s not for lack of will on their part.

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