The Governance Year in Review issue is our prime opportunity to reflect on the year just past, with the month-by-month timeline of 2015 (starting on page 30) as the centerpiece of our look back. We also do some peering ahead, which explains the focus we give to the topic of strategic planning and divining the future for board work, as a number of authors attempt in the pages ahead, including Laurie Ann Goldman with her cover article (page 8). And you can't get much more futures-oriented than our A.T. Kearney authors with their projections for America in the year 2026, the nation's 250th birthday (page 13).
What I like to do for my editor's note in this Year in Review issue is assemble a selection of keenly observed comments on board leadership--the essence of it and, more specifically, how boards can up their game--made by authors in their 2015 articles. I have chosen two comments from each of the quarterly editions. It makes for a tough cut, but here goes:
* Make sure that the replacement for a board member is a tangible upgrade.--"Board Evolution: A New Way to Frame Board Succession" by John T. Thompson and Michael Nieset (Q1 issue).
* In a board, power and influence come primarily from respect and confidence, which are not gained quickly or easily.--"Welcome Aboard to Your 'Youngster' on the Board" by Dennis Cagan (Q1).
* It's the rare board that has recruited a member exclusively because of talent expertise. That is going to change.--"What the Smart Boards Will Talk About First" by Steve Cadigan (Q2).
* Boards have a high degree of camaraderie, which can make firing a member be like firing your friend.--"Transition Plans for...