The relationship between boards and senior management is changing. Boards’ obligations and their engagement with management have grown in today’s world of increasing complexity and risk. The National Association of Corporate Directors’ 2015–2016 Public Company Governance Survey compiled benchmarking data on governance trends and practices from more than 1,000 corporate directors and governance professionals. Its findings are instructive for all governing boards, whether they represent public company shareholders or credit union members.

The days of passive, response-only boards are ending as board members more fully and deeply address the topics of strategy, talent, technology, cybersecurity, reputation and other enterprise risk issues. Directors now spend more time with management than ever before. As boards expand their influence and time commitment, however, concerns of unhealthy friction between the board and the executive team emerge. NACD notes that problems can arise like overstepping boundaries and ineffective communication. Quarterly financial reporting and rising shareholder activism potentially cause a short-term view that constrains long-term value creation.

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Stuart Levine


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