Have you resolved to become even more proactive and knowledgeable as a director in 2015? I commend you! As Dr. Reatha Clark King says in the annual Chairman’s letter, which appears in the January-February 2015 issue of NACD Directorship,
[S]trong boards should work with management to stay abreast of the full range of matters that may affect the success of companies. Today the emergence of significant issues on relatively short notice requires both management and boards to adapt more quickly.
To keep you current the first items on your reading list should surely be Directors Daily, NACD Directorship magazine, and the white papers and other timely content that flows from our Advisory Councils, NACD Directorship 2020® events, and many other educational programs.
But in addition to consulting these resources, consider making time for some of our deeper-dive publications, which provide extensive data and comprehensive guidance on key boardroom issues, both perennial and emerging. To help you locate the material that will be of most interest to you, here is a quick (at-a-glance) “catalog” of the most popular and most topical publications on the NACD bookshelves.
NACD’S ANNUAL SURVEYS. These studies cover governance trends among public, private, and nonprofit boards, as well as public-company director compensation. The facts and figures clearly presented here in charts, tables, and graphs—along with nuanced interpretation of the data collected—will enable you to benchmark your board’s practices against your peers’, no matter what size or type of organization you govern.
For more than 20 years, NACD has been tracking governance trends by industry and company size, from multibillion-dollar firms to those with under $50 million in revenues. Topics analyzed include board size, director hours, board priorities, committee variety, and specific practices for the oversight of risk and for CEO succession, to name just a few. While other fine organizations now support the effort to research board practices, NACD surveys are unparalleled in the scope of their topics and the size of respondent pools they cover.
- NACD Public Company Governance Survey
- NACD Private Company Governance Survey
- NACD Nonprofit Governance Survey
- NACD/PMP Director Compensation Report (produced in cooperation with Pearl Meyer & Partners)
BLUE RIBBON COMMISSION REPORTS. Our widely respected series of Blue Ribbon Commission (BRC) reports is required reading for directors who want to increase their mastery of the many issues facing them. Every year, NACD invites a new and select group of prominent board leaders and subject-matter experts to gather for dialogue about an emerging issue. Chaired by well-known leaders in the business or legal community, the commissions produce authoritative reports that have been cited in legal cases (notably Brehm v. Eisner, 2000) and have even been called “prophetic” by Delaware Supreme Court Justice Jack Jacobs, speaking at the University of Delaware. The following links lead to the most recent editions of 13 of these unique and eminently useful reports.
- Director Compensation
- Director Professionalism
- Board Evaluation
- Executive Compensation
- Board Leadership
- Director Liability
- Board-Shareholder Communications
- Risk Governance
- Performance Metrics
- The Diverse Board
- The Effective Lead Director
- Talent Development
- Strategy Development
HANDBOOKS. Last but not least, for a firmer grasp of director duties, you may wish to consider one or more of NACD’s definitive handbooks, which are authored by experts and focus on the “how to” of directorship.
- A Practical Guide for Corporate Directors (for basic legal duties)
- Getting Behind the Numbers (for financial literacy)
- A Guide for Directors of Privately Held Companies
- The Onboarding Book: A Template for Director Orientation
- Board Dynamics
- Board Leadership for the Company in Crisis
- Success at the Top: CEO Evaluation and Succession
- Cyber Risk Oversight
- Oversight of Corporate Sustainability Activities
And, coming soon, The Family Business Board (in two volumes)!