Owning Up

The 14 Questions Every Board Member Needs to Ask

Ram Charan

Hardcover: 224 pages
Publisher: Jossey-Bass; 1 edition (April 13, 2009)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 0470397675
ISBN-13: 978-0470397671

Owning Up

What people are saying about Owning Up


Your world as a director has suddenly changed. You’ve seen members of other boards take the heat when their companies imploded. The managements of Lehman Brothers, Bear Stearns, Merrill Lynch, and Washington Mutual clearly failed, but so did their boards. Now the board of every company beset with problems is coming under scrutiny.

The pressure is on. Your board must own up to its accountability for the performance of the corporation. Governance now means leadership.

Boards must change their modus operandi to address the new and complex issues that are emerging. These include:

  • Ensuring liquidity in the context of the global financial crisis.
  • Setting CEO performance targets in a very uncertain economy.
  • Assessing strategy and enterprise risk under extreme volatility.

So what should boards do now? What should they be talking about in their meetings and executive sessions? What decisions must they make? How assertive must they be regarding company priorities and operating goals?

In Owning Up, business advisor and corporate governance expert Ram Charan answers these and other burning questions on the minds of directors and business leaders. He describes best practices that are emerging in boardrooms he has observed firsthand. And he provides practical recommendations on a range of issues, from compensation to dealing with external constituencies. Wisely attuned to the human side, he confronts the need for some boards to refresh their composition and for others to rebalance their board dynamics.

Directors, CEOs, general counsels, and operating executives will find in this book the guidance they need to meet the new and rising standards for corporate governance in this demanding business environment.


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