When contemplating the challenges of assessing strategy and then executing it, I vividly recall a recent bank board meeting I attended in a consultant capacity. While facilitating the board through dialogue regarding needed infrastructure changes pending a potential acquisition, outside board members seemed relatively complacent about the challenges ahead. Part of the challenge was navigating resistance to change and, most importantly, critical cultural change to succeed with the strategic plan that management was developing. The board was comprised of some talented, experienced outside board members as well as shareholder legacy members. As we outlined the changes management acknowledged needed to be implemented, I asked each board member to share the most significant changes to the bank governance role they had witnessed during their tenure on the board. I was nothing short of incredulous when a legacy board member paused, considered thoughtfully, and replied, “I can’t think of any changes, really.” This particular board member had served on the board for multiple decades. Professionally speaking, I am glad that reply is not the norm. Across the country, boards are becoming increasingly vigilant in their oversight of strategic direction and holding the CEO accountable for implementation and effective execution of such.
Length: 2 pages (PDF 68 kB)