June 11, 2018

Should Directors Attend Management Meetings?

Occasionally, there’s an debate about whether directors should attend senior management meetings. Some think it’s a bad idea because directors might cross the line into operations. This “Stanford Rock Center” article presents the counterargument – by using Netflix as a case-study. At Netflix, directors regularly observe senior management meetings to get an unfiltered understanding of issues & strategies.

Of course, another benefit is that it’s an opportunity for directors to build relationships outside of the C-suite – and it gives them the ability to evaluate senior managers, which can eventually help with CEO succession planning. For more, see our “Checklist: Board Access to Management” – and our “Board Access” Practice Area.

Poll: Should Directors Attend Management Meetings?

Please take our anonymous poll about director attendance at management meetings:

customer surveys

Director Viewpoints: Anxious About Technology

The main finding from the annual “What Directors Think” survey – by NYSE Governance/Spencer Stuart – is that many directors share an “overwhelming concern” of being ill-equipped to keep up with cyber threats & disruptive technology. Here are five other takeaways:

1. Boards’ main strengths continue to center around strategy & finance – only 12% of directors list IT as a skill

2. Cybersecurity, disruptive innovations & succession planning are the main issues for which directors would seek outside advice

3. Directors are changing their tune about cybersecurity regulations – 60% now think they’re a good idea (compared to 22% last year)

4. Nearly 75% support board diversity efforts

5. 57% of directors say an enhanced brand image and reputation – and a greater ability to attract & retain employees – are big benefits of corporate social responsibility programs…but ESG initiatives are at the bottom of their priorities

Liz Dunshee