Boards That Excel: Candid Insights and Practical Advice for Directors (Hardcover)

Boards That Excel: Candid Insights and Practical Advice for Directors By B. Joseph White Cover Image

Boards That Excel: Candid Insights and Practical Advice for Directors (Hardcover)


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This is a different kind of corporate governance book. With its vivid stories and conversational tone, Boards That Excel is like sitting down with an astute and experienced friend—one who’s passionate about what corporate and nonprofit boards can contribute to their organizations’ success when they set high aspirations, are clear on purpose, and do the right things in the right way. B. Joseph White, an experienced corporate and nonprofit director and a distinguished academic, argues that boards can enable organizations to do great things, but only when directors go well beyond their duty to oversee and monitor management.

White offers a road map for governance success based on his experience with two of America’s most successful companies, one public and one private. He knows governance research and distills it to a handful of truly useful insights for boards and directors. He provides clear guidance on the essential work boards must do, and, drawing on behavioral research, he describes how they can ensure the boardroom is a place of good information, thoughtful evaluation, and wise decision making.

The book reports on interviews with more than a dozen high-performance board chairs, CEOs, and directors, including Siebel Systems founder Tom Siebel, legendary real estate investor Sam Zell, former Harlem Globetrotters owner Mannie Jackson, GM board chairman and former Cummins chairman and CEO Tim Solso, and volunteer (University of Illinois, University of Michigan) and corporate (Hershey, Bob Evans) director Mary Kay Haben. All speak with unusual candor on what it takes for boards and directors to excel.
B. Joseph White chairs the corporate governance committee of the board of Equity Residential, an S&P 500 company. He helped design governance arrangements and is a director of Gordon Food Service, one of America’s thirty-five largest private companies. He is the James F. Towey Professor of Business and Leadership and president emeritus of the University of Illinois. He is also dean and professor emeritus at the Ross School of Business at the University of Michigan. He has served on many nonprofit boards, including those of Georgetown University, Argonne National Laboratory, and the National Merit Scholarship Corporation.
Product Details ISBN: 9781626562226
ISBN-10: 1626562229
Publisher: Berrett-Koehler Publishers
Publication Date: August 18th, 2014
Pages: 272
Language: English
Series: BK Business (Hardcover)
Boards That Excel is an essential resource for all directors, new and experienced, of both for-profit companies and not-for-profit organizations. It’s the perfect blend of research data and real-world best practices and experience that can drive effective governance in an ever-changing environment.”
—Mary Kay Haben, Director, Hershey and Bob Evans, and Trustee, Equity Residential

“Joe White’s Boards That Excel is an in-depth effort to reconcile the importance of governance with the ultimate mission of a board of directors. Perhaps the most relevant of many insights in the book is the recognition that performance and return on investment are ultimate measures and that superior governance contributes to those positive results.”
—Sam Zell, Chairman, Equity Group Investments, Equity Residential, Equity LifeStyle Properties, Anixter, and Covanta

“Many family businesses are late to the game when it comes to developing a disciplined and pragmatic approach to governance. The insights and principles shared in this excellent book have played a significant role in the growth and success of our multigenerational family business for over twenty-five years.”
—Dan Gordon, Chairman, Gordon Food Service

“The book provides insightful discussions of the necessary skills, attitudes, and knowledge that any board member must have. It gives well-structured coverage of best board practices. It also offers contexts for those practices by including insightful personal reflections on the role a board plays in organizational leadership from one who has thought deeply about it and actually experienced it in many important organizations.”
—Paul Danos, Dean and Laurence F. Whittemore Professor of Business Administration, Tuck School of Business at Dartmouth, and Director, General Mills

“What I've come to appreciate over the years is that at the end of the day, good governance is an art form like major league sports. It improves with hours of practice and experience. As with the team game of basketball, one gets better sooner by studying from the masters. Joe White is a master—he is the John Wooden and Vince Lombardi of corporate governance.”
—Mannie Jackson, Chairman, Boxcar Holdings; former owner and Chairman, Harlem Globetrotters; and Director, Acorn Energy, EPIC Research & Diagnostics, and Arizona Diamondbacks

“Joe White is a leader in the increasingly important field of corporate governance. He is sought out as an advisor to major corporations, is a thought leader among academicians, and an active participant in the boardroom. His book should be required reading for those presently sitting in the boardroom, those expecting to participate in the future, and those seeking the best thinking in the corporate governance world.”
—Sheli Rosenberg, cofounder and former Director, Center for Executive Women, Kellogg School of Management, Northwestern University, and Director, Equity LifeStyle Properties, Nanosphere, Strategic Hotels & Resorts, and Ventas

Boards That Excel is a great book for students, investors, and directors to understand the essence of what makes companies tick. Joe White’s insightful thoughts and observations can help anyone who reads them understand the impact directors and corporate governance principles can have on the corporation.”
—Rick Hill, former Chairman and CEO, Novellus Systems, and Director, Arrow Electronics, LSI, Cabot Microelectronics, Tessera, and Planar Systems

“Joe White’s book serves as a primer for new and seasoned board members. It is filled with relevant and personal anecdotes that provide valuable insights on how to function effectively on boards. It is a must-read for anyone who has said yes to a board invitation—and it should be handed out by those doing the asking.”
—Tim Solso, Chairman, General Motors; Director, Ball; and former Chairman and CEO, Cummins