When CEOs think about “transforming” their boards, what typically comes to mind is replacing some of their directors with others who will bring more value into board dialogue and decision making. It’s small wonder that changes to board composition figure prominently on many CEO’s boardroom agendas: Composition is often the single biggest factor impacting a board’s effectiveness—and one that is typically poorly managed by the board, itself. Many boards will continue to renominate directors whose most penetrating boardroom question for years has concerned the color of the corporate jet—until they hit the mandatory retirement age. While inappropriate, the alternative is often considered worse: The awkward conversation in which an accomplished businessperson—and undoubtedly very loyal director—is informed that she is not being renominated for another term.
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