“The board of directors creates the company of tomorrow, starting today”.
Josep Tàpies, IESE professor
The chair of the board, the conductor of an orchestra in search of harmony
It goes without saying that the proper functioning of this governing body depends on the members comprising it, but especially on the chair, who calls the shots. Truer words have never been spoken, as the chair acts as the conductor of an orchestra who has to create harmony among all the board members.
As with conducting an orchestra, leading a board is a collective and dynamic process. It’s a difficult task, as the results depend on how certain people react to the ideas and issues presented to them. In fact, running board meetings well and getting all the directors to add value may be the chair’s most important contribution for the good of the company.
The role of the chair is to head the board and not only to perform representative functions. They should make the board effective and make it function properly, and this can only be done if they are able to create an open atmosphere and a participative climate. For this reason, their leadership and decision-making style will determine the proper functioning of the board.
To properly perform their functions, the chair has to be a methodical, organized person with leadership and coordination skills, who is capable of achieving consensus and has a strong practical approach, and who is able to put the decisions made into practice. The relationship between the chair and the CEO will largely determine the board’s value contribution.
Are you interested in learning more about the functioning of the board of directors and the responsibilities that being a director entails? Don’t miss IESE’s High-performance board member program. With this training, you will be prepared to professionally and responsibly perform the role of director under the guidance of expert professors and current directors.