Playing Board Games: Maximizing External Insight To Avoid Checkmate

Corporate-boardroom news usually hits the media pipeline as 'it' hits the fan. Enron's dramatic fall from grace catapulted its powers-that-be from the boardroom to the courtroom; Hewlett-Packard's boardroom scandal sent the company's reputation through a ritualistic slaughter; Worldcom's board was widely criticized as being too passive and overlooking the blatant accounting fraud taking place. These instances mar the positive impact a board of directors can have on an organization; however, a board doesn't have to be an ominous shadow of power that hangs over a corporation, only to emerge when times are tough. At their roots, boards function to provide objective advice, mentoring and counseling that serves in the organization's (and not their personal bank accounts') best interests. The fact that the biggest boards are often embroiled in one corporate scandal or another is further evidence that communicators - especially those within smaller companies, nonprofits or agencies - should pull up a chair, sit down and join the game: Building a Better Board.

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