Corporate Directors Forum is honoring six of San Diego's top directors at its annual Director of the Year awards for their leadership and high standards in corporate governance. Honorees were selected for their outstanding performance in the boardroom and behind the scenes.
The first encounter with anyone can be very exciting. Just like a first date, it can leave a lasting impression and long-term reverberations that could be either good or bad. This is equally true for first board meetings of new startup venture-backed companies. After more than 30 such "first date" board meetings, I am as excited as ever for the next one. What have I learned? What can be done to make sure they are positive and productive experiences for everyone and set the right direction for long-term shareholder value creation?
Much of our country's current economic miseries can be attributed to ineffective and irresponsible boards. Board members who withhold critical input for fear of marginalization, board members who understand little about the companies they govern and board members who fail to balance the short- and long-term goals of their companies are in my opinion the bane of corporate America today.
A business perspective shared by a number of companies is that what is good for the company is good for the community in which the company operates, and vice versa. Dynamic companies engaged in and supportive of their communities are great places to work and, more often than not, successful. Companies that encourage and enable their employees as individuals to be similarly engaged in and supportive of their communities are rewarding, satisfying workplaces. The Corporate Directors Forum has worked for years to recognize and encourage such good business practices, and we benefit from this collective effort.
Board member performance appraisals can be an excellent tool in helping to enhance the effectiveness of independent directors.
It's hard to imagine that the founders of the San Diego Hospital Association (SDHA) could have envisioned what has transpired since their efforts more than 60 years ago to raise funds for a desperately needed new community hospital for San Diegans. The hard work of these concerned citizens eventually led to the opening of the Donald N. Sharp Memorial Hospital in 1955, but that was only the beginning.
Most boards do not make participation with management in developing and monitoring a corporate long-term strategy a primary objective.
One commonly voiced criticism of directors is their failure to challenge management's plans, actions or assumptions -- to "ask hard questions" and "stand up for the shareholders." It's no surprise why: When such challenges or criticisms are made, management often receives them on a personal rather than an intellectual level -- even from directors who are considered friends. Feeling rebuffed by management's resultant defensiveness, the questioning director may then inadvertently personalize the discussion even more through follow-up questions.
San Diego's Corporate Directors Forum, the largest regional association of directors and officers in the United States, is hosting the fifth annual "Directors Forum: Directors Management and Shareholders in Dialogue" conference from Jan. 24-26 at the University of San Diego. This event uniquely brings together institutional investors, companies and regulatory agencies providing an ideal forum for open dialogue.
Unique coverage of current corporate governance issues and board room updates.
Corporate governance and succession planning are in the spotlight in this special section in collaboration with Corporate Directors Forum.
Read about the most current corporate governance issues among local business leaders.