Building the Board of the Future - NACD BoardVision
In this episode of BoardVision: Attributes and strengths that board directors must have to ensure future success features insights from Cheryl Bachelder, CEO of Popeyes Louisiana Kitchen, and Phyllis Deiso, partner at McGladrey. Hosted by NACD Directorship Editor-in-Chief Judy Warner.
>> Judy Warner: Good afternoon, I'm Judy Warner, the Editor of NACD Directorship Magazine, and this is BoardVision. Today our topic is building the board of the future, and I'm joined by Cheryl Bachelder, who is the CEO of Popeyes Louisiana Kitchen, and also a director on the Pier 1 board. Cheryl, thank you for being here today.
>> Cheryl Bachelder: Thank you.
>> Judy Warner: And I'm also joined by Phyllis Deiso, a partner in the accounting firm McGladrey. Phyllis, thank you for being here today.
>> Phyllis Deiso: My pleasure Judy.
>> Judy Warner: My first question is about composition, and what kinds of characteristics or attributes directors have today that you think will be more relevant in the future?
>> Cheryl Bachelder: When I first came on board, there was a lot of emphasis on regulation, legal, audit, for example, and today, there's more and more discussion about the skill sets of the board and strategy and technology and operations and human capital.
>> Judy Warner: And Phyllis, from your perspective, as an advisor to boards, and also you serve on the McGladrey board, what do you think are the characteristics of a director that will carry forward or become more important in the future?
>> Phyllis Deiso: Strategy. I think the attributes that will propel boards into the future are those attributes that align most directly with a company's strategy.
>> Judy Warner: How should boards think about refreshing themselves?
>> Cheryl Bachelder: Well, on our board at Popeyes, we've been in the process of a refresh and renewal over the last three years, so we've been looking at skill sets required each year, and discussing the balance that's in the board room.
>> Phyllis Deiso: The real key I think is to have that strategic discussion around what attributes you need, and, and also, and I know Cheryl and I have had some discussion about this, when you search for new board members, there's almost a default today that we want a sitting CEO, or we want a C-suite office, and, or we want a woman or, you know, whatever, and the list could go on, as you begin to put those parameters around the search, is that really what you're looking for?
>> Judy Warner: Are you seeing that there's a difference between certainly the younger director, the, you know, new to the board director, any sort of commonality to how the director evolves in, on a board?
>> Phyllis Deiso: The thing that I see most is there is a tendency to want to manage, and to get involved, perhaps beyond the board role into the management role. And I'm not sure that that would translate into all sitting executives, because sitting executives have some time constraints, since they do have their day job, but on our partnership board, admittedly a different animal, that's probably what I see most frequently.
>> Judy Warner: Could we talk for a minute about the difference between the independent board member and industry expertise?
>> Cheryl Bachelder: My experience is that independence is a, a criteria that the person has to understand, and then decide to bring to the board room consistently over time.
>> Phyllis Deiso: It's a mindset. Now we understand the regulations and we understand the law, and what we need to do in a public company, but in our situation, it's really a mindset. When you walk into that board room, you approach it not with a parochial view, but with a broad mindset, and a mindset that you will view this for the good of the partnership as a whole, and it's really that, and you've got to stay fresh and you've got to stay focused, and you've got to understand that.
>> Judy Warner: How is the relationship between boards and their shareholders, or the company's shareholders, involving, and what effect are shareholders having on board composition?
>> Cheryl Bachelder: Well there's no question there's a lot more dialogue in the board room about shareholders. What are the shareholder's interests, concerns, issues that they're raising, a lot more discussion about that today than there was several years ago. I think that's drawing the board member closer to another group of advisors that add value. I quietly call some of my investors board members, because I think they bring an important perspective to the conversation.
>> Phyllis Deiso: Often times we have large shareholder groups, they're sophisticated and then can add value to the board members. And so I, I think that that is a great point that that can be an additional resource.
>> Judy Warner: Cheryl, I want to thank you for being with us today, and Phyllis I also want to thank you for being here today.
>> Cheryl Bachelder: It's a pleasure.
>> Phyllis Deiso: Pleasure.
>> Judy Warner: On behalf of the NACD and McGladrey, I want to thank you for watching. I'm Judy Warner, and this is BoardVision.
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