You probably hear plenty about your duties and responsibilities as a corporate director. But what about your rights as a board member? Even good governance guidelines tend to focus on what the board and its members must do -- but pay little attention to what directors should demand in the way of tools and powers to do it.
I recently sat in on a board retreat that included a novel idea - and a good one: a list of "rights of a board member." This list, originally developed by the Williams Young accounting/consulting firm of Madison, Wisconsin, is targeted to the nonprofit board member, but some items from their "bill of rights" are valuable to the members of any board. These include:
A similar director's Magna Carta would be a useful addition to any board's governance guidelines, but should also include items specific to your corporation, its membership, and its committee structure (audit committee members should have a right to review specific financials, for example). Empowered boards need a list of these powers.
Copyright © 2001 Ralph Ward's Boardroom Insider