L’efficacité des conseils | Cinq moyens à la disposition des présidents de CA

Voici un article intéressant partagé par Roseanne Landay sur son blogue. Il s’agit d’une synthèse d’un document de recherche de la firme Egon Zhender : Unlocking Great Leadership: How Chairmen Enhance Board Effectiveness.

Dans cet article, on met l’accent sur cinq (5) approches qui peuvent être utilisées par les présidents de conseils d’administration pour améliorer l’efficacité de leurs CA, en trouvant le juste équilibre entre la profitabilité à court terme et la vision à long terme, la surveillance effectuée par le CA et le management, l’expression d’idées diverses et la mise en œuvre d’une stratégie concertée.

Dans sa recherche, Egon Zhender a interrogé plusieurs présidents de conseils ainsi que plusieurs administrateurs indépendants de grandes entreprises multinationales afin d’identifier les meilleures pratiques eu égard à l’efficacité des CA, dans les domaines suivants :

(1)  La surveillance des risques;

(2)  La planification de la relève;

(3)  Les principes de saine gouvernance;

(4)  L’implication dans la stratégie de l’entreprise;

(5)  La culture et la dynamique du conseil.

Vous trouverez ci-dessous une très brève description des résultats de l’étude. Vous pouvez également prendre connaissance du document complet en allant sur le site http//www.egonzehnder.com/files/unlocking_great_leadership.pdf

Bonne lecture !

Board Effectiveness: 5 Best Practices For Achieving Balance

Risk Oversight :

Interviews with independent chairs and directors found that boards are experiencing an increase in the range of risks they must oversee — from financial, operational and reputational risks to risks associated with cybersecurity, sustainability, digital and social media, talent, and innovation. To ensure that risk is regularly addressed by the board, interviewees suggest not only including it on the agenda but also eliciting candid assessments from management, such as by asking the CEO « to articulate clearly the top three things that are going right and three that are not.”


Succession Planning : 

Increased attention to succession planning can improve Board effectiveness. Whereas many boards have an emergency succession plan, they might not have a plan for longer-term succession planning.  In its paper, EgonZhender elaborates in greater detail the following best practices for long-term succession planning: 1) Develop the CEO specification; 2) Assess internal candidates; and, 3) Assess potential external candidates.  The chair of a global insurance company where succession planning is a high priority states: “Succession planning is discussed at every other meeting of the board . . .  and information is shared transparently on the performance of possible successors.”

Good Governance :

Good governance begins with a clear understanding that the board’s role is to oversee the company, not manage it.  In addition, practicing good governance does not end at the board meeting but extends to the structure and functioning of board committees.  In fact, as an interviewee states, “The quality of committee work is more meaningful than the full board meeting. Two-thirds of the total time should be spent in committees and one-third in meetings of the full board.” Adds another, “The chair’s role is to encourage the committees to have candid, substantive discussions and synthesize their conclusions for the full board.”

Strategy Engagement :

Involvement in strategy is a major responsibility for boards. Different from management, independent board directors often can provide a broad, dispasionate perspective. Recent increases in activist shareholders and mergers and acquisitions also require independent directors to have a deep understanding of the company’s strategy and the ability to recognize what will be best for shareholders or, if a nonprofit, constituents. Furthermore, with a good understanding of the company’s long-term strategy, the board can better design its own composition to meet the demands of the future.

Culture & Dynamics :

The board chair sets the tone for the board’s culture and dynamics, the linchpin to an effective board. A culture of trust and openness is necessary for eliciting candid, constructive, diverse dialogue.  Among the ways chairs can develop a healthy atmosphere and productive interactions is to solicit input from independent directors and management prior to developing the board meeting agenda. This can be done through board surveys or one-on-one conversations. However, the chair must be careful not to split the board by creating a preferred group of insiders. Ultimately, says an independent director, the chairman should create an environment which “encourages participation and allows board members to derive meaning, inspiration and satisfaction from their work.”

*Egon Zehnder is the world’s leading privately held executive search and talent management consultancy with more than 400 consultants in 69 offices across 41 countries. The firm provides senior-level executive search, board search and advisory, CEO succession and family business advisory, as well as leadership assessment and development to the world’s most respected organizations. Egon Zehnder’s clients range from the largest corporations to emerging growth companies, family and private-equity controlled entities, government and regulatory bodies, and major educational and cultural organizations.

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