La professionnalisation des membres de C.A.


Voici un article publié par Robert C. Pozen*, paru HBR et reproduit dans LeadingCompany le 20 février 2013. L’article aborde un sujet d’actualité : le recrutement d’administrateurs professionnels (et indépendants). Pozen propose un modèle de conseil d’administration ayant une taille réduite et s’appuyant sur un engagement beaucoup plus important des membres.

Bien sûr, les recommandations sont valables pour les entreprises publiques cotées, mais elles peuvent aussi s’appliquer à plusieurs autres types d’organisations privées ou publiques de différentes tailles. Vous trouverez, ci-dessous un extrait de cet article. Celui-ci décrit le modèle proposé et présente plusieurs arguments qui militent en faveur d’un net changement dans la composition des C.A., répondant par la même occasion à certaines objections souvent évoquées.

The case for professional boards

« Boards are often too large to operate effectively as decision-making groups, with members relying on others to take the lead. Many of the financial institutions that had to be rescued from insolvency in 2008 had very large boards, and all had a substantial majority of independent directors. Citigroup, for example, had 18 directors, of whom 16 were independent. In groups this large, members engage in what psychologists call “social loafing”. They cease to take personal responsibility for the group’s actions and rely on others to take the lead. Large groups also inhibit consensus building, which is the way boards typically operate: the more members there are, the harder it is to reach agreement.

English: 500 Boylston St., Boston, MA 02116
English: 500 Boylston St., Boston, MA 02116 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I’ve been the president or chairman of two global financial firms, an independent director of several large industrial companies and a long-time scholar of corporate governance. During my career, I’ve seen several chronic deficiencies in corporate boards: boards are often too large to operate effectively as decision-making groups. Members frequently lack sufficient expertise in the relevant industry. And, most important, few members devote the time needed to fully understand the complexities of the company’s global operations.

I propose a model of professional directorship that directly responds to the three main factors behind ineffective decision-making. All boards would be limited to seven people. Management would be represented by the CEO – the other six directors would be independent. Most of the independent directors would be required to have extensive expertise in the company’s lines of business and they would spend at least two days a month on company business beyond the regular board meetings.

Groups of six or seven are the most effective at decision-making. They’re small enough for all members to take personal responsibility for the group’s actions and they can usually reach a consensus in a reasonably short time. The six independent directors called for in the new model are sufficient to populate the three key committees: audit, compensation and nominating. Three different directors would serve solely as chairs of each of those committees, and the other three directors would each serve on two of them ».

Voir aussi le billet que j’ai publié le 5 juin 2012 : Un conseil de plus petite taille : Une règle de bonne gouvernance selon Pozen

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*Robert C Pozen is a senior lecturer of business administration at Harvard Business School and the chairman emeritus of MFS Investment Management, an investment company in Boston.

How to be a good independent director: Separating the issue from the individual is the key – The Economic Times (csuitementor.wordpress.com)

Un argumentaire en faveur du choix d’administrateurs externes au C.A. (jacquesgrisegouvernance.com)

Que font les « bons » administrateurs pour faciliter le succès des organisations ? (jacquesgrisegouvernance.com)

5 huge mistakes startups make when choosing board members (venturebeat.com)