The Director's & Officer's Guide to Advisory Boards

By Robert K. Mueller | Go to book overview

PREFACE

"No more effect than a sparrow's tears," quoth John E. Thayer III, Research Fellow, Peabody Museum, Salem, Massachusetts. The occasion was a symposium in Boston on March 15, 1986, on Japan in the United States, subtitled "Do we really understand each other?" Thayer was one of sixteen distinguished participants noting that despite heightened sensitivity to bilateral problems and realities of conflict resolution, the two countries still are not listening to each other.

The listening problem is one that boards of directors also have with respect to certain stakeholders' interests and the many forces at work in the environment. We can go as far back as Sophocles ( Antigone, 442-441 B.C.) to hear, "It can be no dishonor to learn from others when they speak good sense." The more recent environmental turbulence in which corporations must now function has heightened sensitivity to the complexity of doing business worldwide. However, unless the advisors "speak good sense," and competitive or other perils are acute, boards of directors tend to entertain only limited advice from outsiders.

The recent director and officer (D&O) liability insurance availability and cost crisis causing some directors to defect from boardrooms is one such acute peril. Dr. John J. Arena, president and chief executive officer of Endowment Management & Research Corporation ( Boston), points out that this trend is one "in which boards of directors are currently in a self-destruct mode." This trend, added to the chronic problem of business complexity, has forced many corporations to look to other means for getting expert advice. It is important to listen for early warning signals from forces potentially impacting fu-

-ix-

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The Director's & Officer's Guide to Advisory Boards
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Recent Titles from Quorum Books ii
  • Title Page iii
  • Contents v
  • Tables and Figures vii
  • Preface ix
  • Introduction 1
  • 1 - Advisors Unlimited 9
  • Notes 26
  • 2 - Driving Forces 27
  • Notes 35
  • 3 - Counseling Versus Consulting Versus Mentoring 37
  • Notes 41
  • 4 - Role of an Advisory Board or Council 43
  • Notes 64
  • 5 - Activity and Societal Scan 65
  • 6 - Species of Advisory Boards 77
  • Notes 88
  • 7 - Weak-Signal Governance/Early Warning Advisory Systems 89
  • Notes 101
  • 8 - Advising Non- Profit-Seeking Versus Profit- Seeking Organizations 103
  • Notes 108
  • 9 - Care and Feeding of Advisory Boards 111
  • Notes 121
  • 10 - Insurance, Indemnification, and Contractual Matters 123
  • Notes 134
  • 11 - Advisory View of Corporate Strategy 135
  • Notes 148
  • 12 - Advisory Board Perspectives: Stakeholder Strategy 149
  • Notes 170
  • 13 - The Power of Advisory Board Networks 173
  • Notes 187
  • 14 - Advising the Family Business Board 189
  • Notes 201
  • 15 - Cultural Realities Facing Advisory Boards 203
  • 16 - Advising on Nonprofit Trusteeship Pathologies 223
  • Notes 240
  • Appendix ADVISEE SEARCH: GETTING INVITED TO SERVE AS ADVISOR 241
  • Notes 255
  • SELECTED BIBLIOGRAPHY AND REFERENCE READING LIST 257
  • Index 263
  • About the Author 279
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