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More About This Title Owning Up
—Thomas J. Neff, chairman, U.S., Spencer Stuart
"If Corporate America's board members had answered these questions, the crisis of '08 would have been avoided. The book is that powerful. It should be required reading in every boardroom, executive suite, and business school on the planet. This book with its singular wisdom could change the face of corporate governance—with huge dividends to shareholders and society."
—Ralph Whitworth, principal, Relational Investors LLC
"Ram Charan always seems to get it right. Owning Up not only asks the right questions, it gives answers that can make a real difference for improving board performance."
—James M. Kilts, former chairman and CEO, The Gillette Company
"As always, well-reasoned, insightful, and thought-provoking. A work that every director will find of value, particularly given the intense pressure of these unprecedented economic times."
—Professor Charles M. Elson, director of the John L. Weinberg Center for Corporate Governance at the University of Delaware
"Here is the book that every corporate director needs today. With his decades of insider experience, Ram Charan brings more wisdom and insight to this subject than anyone else I know."
—Geoff Colvin, Fortune editor and author, Talent Is Overrated: What Really Separates World-Class Performers from Everybody Else
Foreword by Jack Krol vii
What Boards Need Now ix
1. Question 1. Is Our Board Composition Right for the Challenge? 1
2. Question 2. Are We Addressing the Risks That Could Send Our Company over the Cliff? 19
3. Question 3. Are We Prepared to Do Our Job Well When a Crisis Erupts? 33
4. Question 4. Are We Well Prepared to Name Our Next CEO? 41
5. Question 5. Does Our Board Really Own the Company’s Strategy? 57
6. Question 6. How Can We Get the Information We Need to Govern Well? 73
7. Question 7. How Can Our Board Get CEO Compensation Right? 85
8. Question 8. Why Do We Need a Lead Director Anyway? 101
9. Question 9. Is Our Governance Committee Best of Breed? 117
10. Question 10. How Do We Get the Most Value out of Our Limited Time? 127
11. Question 11. How Can Executive Sessions Help the Board Own Up? 137
12. Question 12. How Can Our Board Self-Evaluation Improve Our Functioning and Our Output? 149
13. Question 13. How Do We Stop from Micromanaging? 163
14. Question 14. How Prepared Are We to Work with Activist Shareholders and Their Proxies? 173
About the Author 187