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La présidence du conseil d’administration (PCA) | Une fonction essentielle au succès des organisations

25 juin 2014

J’ai répertorié un article d’Andrew Saunders paru dans Management Today en juin 2014 qui décrit toute l’importance du rôle de leader du président du conseil d’administration (PCA).

Selon l’auteur, les fonctions du PCA sont de plus en plus reconnues, au point où il est souvent plus facile de trouver un PDG qu’un grand leader du conseil. L’article présente la fonction de PCA comme consubstantiel au succès de l’entreprise et montre les caractéristiques-clés de ces grands leaders.

J’ai souvent fait référence à l’importance accrue des présidents de conseil dans mes billets précédents. Cet article va plus loin, et plus en détail, sur ce qui fait le succès d’un bon patron du conseil.

Voici un extrait de cet excellent article que je vous invite à lire.

« The chief executive may get the glory and the salary, but leading the board is an increasingly important role, requiring subtlety, maturity and an iron grip on the agenda »

 

The importance of being a chairman

 

By contrast, the chairman’s role is less obvious and much less well understood. The task of running the board rather than running the company can appear limited and process-heavy, a lot of dull admin to be tackled while the CEO has all the fun.

But there is much more to it than that: a good chairman is at least as important for the long-term prosperity of a business as a good CEO, and often harder to find. How different might the outcome at Manchester United have been if veteran manager Sir Alex Ferguson had not been allowed to pick his own successor?

A strong chairman should influence the decision-making process, if not always its outcome, greatly for the better. And yet, by comparison with the wide-ranging executive authority enjoyed by the CEO, the chairman’s powers are distinctly limited.

‘As chairman you only really have absolute control of two things,’ says Roger Parry, the chairman of MSQ Partners and a former chairman of Johnston Press and Future Publishing, among others. ‘Firstly, you have (or should have) a lot of influence over hire and fire – you pretty much get to decide who is on the board.

‘And the second crucial thing is that, in the board meeting, you can control what is discussed and for how long. Not only the agenda itself, but the amount of time to be spent on each item. A good deal of the agenda is fixed – you have to discuss health and safety, performance against budget, remuneration and so on – but the weight of emphasis can be shifted by the chairman.’

 

GOOD CHAIRMEN

 

Do

Pick NEDs who are sufficiently diverse and strong-minded to challenge the executive directors.

Maintain a five-year perspective. The executive directors are focused on this year, the senior managers on this month. Your job is to take a longer view.

Support chief execs as best you can, know their personal circumstances, priorities and how long they want to stay.

Put your network and wider business experience at the disposal of the board.

Don’t

Dole out non-exec jobs to your old mates.

Get too chummy with CEOs: if you go on family holidays together, it will be much harder to sack them if and when the time comes.

Pull rank on a director in front of their boardroom colleagues.

Ever let the words: ‘This is how we did it when I was the chief executive …’ pass your lips in a board meeting.

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