Recent news has brought the topic of ethical standards in the boardroom and C-suite to the forefront. The board’s oversight responsibility is to ensure that processes are in place to promote the agreed-upon tone at the top. According to the 2010 NACD Public Company Governance Survey, nearly all respondents indicated that their management actively promotes a culture of integrity by precept and example. This can be accomplished through:
- Standards of conduct
- Guidebooks and manuals
- Classroom sessions and training
- Talks and visits, especially by senior executives
Boards must evaluate performance on many levels; this includes ethical as well as financial performance. For more guidance on the topic, please see NACD’s Director’s Handbook Series: Corporate Director’s Ethics and Compliance Handbook.