Tag Archives: Beverly Behan

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Board chair evaluation: does the UK know best?

Good governance in Canada typically means separating the chairman and CEO roles. But that’s really just a half measure without also having an airtight process to evaluate the chair’s leadership
By Beverly Behan
May 18th, 2017

Canadian boards take pride in their long-standing practice of separating the roles of chairman and CEO. But British boards go even further—not only appointing independent non-executive chairs but also actively managing their performance. Like Canada, the UK takes a “comply … Continue reading

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The last phase of CEO succession? A new board

CEO succession and board renewal are typically seen as separate concerns. In fact, a comprehensive review of board composition—creating “Board 2.0”—is the last, best act directors can do for a new CEO
By Beverly Behan
December 15th, 2016

Good work! Your board has completed a robust CEO succession process and everyone’s confident about your choice of a new corporate leader. He/she has now spent about a year assembling an outstanding executive team and either confirming or changing the … Continue reading

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The board’s role in executive talent oversight

Yes, it’s the CEO’s job to hire senior executives. But it is very much a board’s responsibility to ensure there is a continuity of talent in place to protect shareholder interests
By Beverly Behan
October 11th, 2016

Executive succession and talent development are issues that frequently fall to the bottom of board priorities—that is, until the board starts CEO succession planning in earnest and discovers that the internal pool isn’t quite what they thought or, worse yet, … Continue reading

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How to use your network to get on a board

If board headhunters don’t find you, how do director-to-be hopefuls find a board? By all means tap into your network, but do your homework first
By Beverly Behan
August 1st, 2016

Only about half of board searches for public companies involve the use of headhunters. So, where does the other half find their new directors? A few go into databases at the Institute of Corporate Directors or Board Prospects—or if they’re … Continue reading

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Micromanagement: the dirtiest word in governance

Make no mistake, directors and boards that micromanage can be a problem. But it’s far from cut-and-dried. There are many reasons micromanagement occurs—and circumstances where it’s warranted
By Beverly Behan
May 30th, 2016

“The board is micromanaging.” How many times have we heard this lament from CEOs, corporate executives and even board members, themselves? Essentially, it is an accusation that the board is delving into picayune details and/or making decisions that should be … Continue reading

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Three mistakes in CEO succession planning

Your board can spend a lot of time on CEO succession and still get it wrong. Here’s a look at three big pitfalls and how to avoid them
By Beverly Behan
December 15th, 2015

CEO succession is an area where most boards feel they could raise their game. PwC’s 2015 study of nearly 800 U.S. public company directors, released in October, revealed that less than half feel their board spends sufficient time on CEO … Continue reading

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Sharpening your director on-boarding program

Boards understand the value in recruiting great new directors, but it also takes an effective on-boarding program to make the most of their talents and to do it in the shortest possible time
By Beverly Behan
October 11th, 2015

Nearly every company has an orientation program for its new board members—and most follow the same general format: The new director meets one-on-one with a series of corporate executives over a day or two and tries to ingest as much … Continue reading

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Effective board and director evaluations

Board and director evaluations used to be mostly about compliance. Today they’re about making good boards better while improving the credibility of board and director performance management. Here, an expanded recap of emerging trends and tactics
By Beverly Behan
July 27th, 2015

Now that directors have had more than a decade of experience with board evaluations, their objectives for the exercise have begun to shift. Rather than seeking a rote compliance objective, increasingly board chairs and nominating/governance committee chairs want to use … Continue reading

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The No. 1 boardroom issue for 2015

Activists realized board composition was a key factor in company performance some time ago. Now it’s also moving to the forefront of voting concerns for ordinary shareholders. Translation: either your board addresses it or others will
By Beverly Behan
May 13th, 2015

Shareholder activists have long found success in running slates of candidates whose expertise and backgrounds appeared stronger and more relevant than those of the incumbent board members; CP Rail is a classic example. But now, board composition is becoming a … Continue reading

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Board offsite as shareholder activism boot camp

Instead of waiting for a shareholder activist attack, boards should use strategic retreats to look at themselves through an activist lens—and then take steps to be ready if the real thing occurs
By Beverly Behan
December 18th, 2014

Boards that find themselves in the crosshairs of a shareholder activist spend inordinate amounts of time and money developing a defensive strategy and putting it into play. Yet, by the time a shareholder activist comes knocking, it may already be … Continue reading

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Hallmarks of a great board chair

Excelling as chairman of a public company board is a complicated task—but you’ll never lift your game from good to great without embracing three key attributes
By Beverly Behan
October 30th, 2014

Being chairman of the board is an honour. But it’s also an important job that can make all the difference in terms of the board’s overall effectiveness. Three things distinguish truly great board chairs—and relatively few actually step up to … Continue reading

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The executive’s guide to working with boards

Would-be CEOs and other senior managers can make or break their careers in presentations to boards. So take the time to learn what directors need to hear—and how they need to hear it
By Beverly Behan
August 25th, 2014

Being invited to present to the board of directors—or to work with the board on an ongoing basis—is often viewed as a hallmark of an executive career. It also has significant implications for anyone with their eye on the corner … Continue reading

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Where are the great new female directors hiding?

Boards seeking to expand their ranks of women directors and boost diversity will only succeed if they also rethink how and where they’re looking
By Beverly Behan
April 21st, 2014

The title of this column echoes a question many nominating and governance committee chairs will be asking if the Ontario Securities Commission implements its new proposals on gender diversity. But many will find those answers only if they break away … Continue reading

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Five questions that mining boards need to ask

It’s imperative that mining company boards find ways to add significant value when hard times are forcing management to make do with less. Here’s how
By Beverly Behan
February 26th, 2014

The past year has been described as a “survival year” in the Canadian mining sector. In an environment where CEOs are scrambling to cut costs and make do with less in order to help their companies weather the storm, the … Continue reading

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Less talk, more discussion, better decisions

Attention management: you’ve got a great group of directors, with highly relevant expertise and backgrounds. It’s time you turned to them more as a sounding board on critical issues
By Beverly Behan
December 13th, 2013

One of my favourite questions in conducting board interviews involves asking the directors, CEO and other company executives to tell me about the balance of presentation time versus discussion time in their board meetings. In other words, roughly how much … Continue reading

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