PJ Neal

Thoughts from a more-than-occasional writer

When 9 is the Perfect Number [Harvard Law School Forum on Corporate Governance]

No corporate director dreams of sitting on an ineffective board—yet many will find themselves serving on a board that underperforms relative to their expectations.

As part of our 2022 Global Director Behaviors and Board Culture study, over 1,100 directors shared insights about the people they serve with, how they focus their time and attention, and how well their board operates (including both its effectiveness and its overall culture). Not surprisingly, we are particularly interested in directors who rated their board as highly effective; a 9 or 10 on a 1-10 scale.

What is different about those boards that lead to such high performance? We developed a key driver model that assessed which behaviors among a 28-item inventory (related to communication, engagement, relationship building, perspective, and character, as well as specific leadership behaviors demonstrated by their chair) significantly impact board effectiveness. What we discovered was a framework we call the 7+2 Model for Highly Effective Boards:

I had the pleasure of assisting Rusty O’Kelley, Rich Fields, and Laura Sanderson with this article, which was published by the Harvard Law School Forum on Corporate Governance.