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A Holistic Approach to Improving Board Effectiveness

Jeffrey Stein, a partner at King & Spaulding LLP, recently published a piece on the Harvard Law School Forum on Corporate Governance and Financial Regulation blog called, "Enhancing Board Performance Through Dynamic Board Development."  The piece sets forth briefly some guidance for enhancing board effectiveness using a holistic approach, rather than in an ad hoc manner:

Effective boards use a holistic approach, by choosing enhancements that are synergistic and will produce the greatest benefits to overall board processes. Through such a holistic approach to board development, a board will not only position itself to respond to today’s challenges, but will be well prepared for future challenges. This article will consider important board processes, not only for the sake of improving each of these processes, but also for enhancing the board’s performance in all its endeavors.

The piece lays out generally how boards may improve nine governance areas:

  1. Board Needs; Director Qualification,
  2. Search and Nomination Process,
  3. Orientation of New Directors,
  4. Ongoing Education of the Board,
  5. Keeping the Board Informed,
  6. Access to Management,
  7. Board Evaluations,
  8. Director Succession Planning, and
  9. Supporting Board Development.

Many of the areas Stein looks at, particularly, education, orientation, board evaluation, and board development, are ones in which the Forum has great interest, and provides programs, guidance, and resources to its members and others.  We encourage you to visit the Forum's website,, and explore the wide variety resources available on the topic areas outlined in Jeffrey Stein's blog post.  Forum members who set up accounts on the Forum's website have access to the fully indexed and searchable wealth of data, analysis, and guidance collected for their benefit.

Jeffrey Stein's  April 20, 2010 blog post is available at: