Board governance

Insights to help CEOs and directors improve board effectiveness.

How activist investors are transforming the role of public-company boards

Collaboration between activists and traditional asset managers is changing the boardroom.

Here’s how.

Special publication

The board perspective
Compendium

The board perspective

Download our collection of McKinsey insights focusing on boards of directors.

The role of the board

Executive Briefing - McKinsey Quarterly

The CEO guide to boards

– Greater responsibilities require increased commitments of time and energy.
Article - McKinsey Quarterly

Adapting your board to the digital age

– Many directors are feeling outmatched by the ferocity of changing technology, emerging risks, and new competitors. Here are four... ways to get boards in the game.
Article

Five questions boards should ask about IT in a digital world

– CIOs, business executives, and board directors need a shared language to discuss IT performance in a fast-changing environment.... Here’s a framework for those conversations.
Article - McKinsey Quarterly

CEO succession starts with developing your leaders

– Focusing on future priorities and debiasing decisions help, too.
Interview

What’s changing in board governance?

– Board governance continues to evolve to meet changes in regulatory compliance and the strategic needs of companies, requiring... ever more collaboration between CEOs and CFOs.
Article - McKinsey Quarterly

High-performing boards: What’s on their agenda?

– Directors report that they have a greater impact as they move beyond the basics.
Article

Preparing for bigger, bolder shareholder activists

– Activists are targeting more and bigger companies. Here’s what attracts them—and some tips on how to respond when... they show up.
Article - McKinsey Quarterly

Building a forward-looking board

– Directors should spend a greater share of their time shaping an agenda for the future.
Article - McKinsey Quarterly

Tapping the strategic potential of boards

– Too many boards just review and approve strategy. Three questions can help them—and executives—begin to do better.
Article - McKinsey Quarterly

Modernizing the board’s role in M&A 

– Active involvement can help companies capture more value—and develop a competitive advantage in deal making.
Article - McKinsey Quarterly

Engaging boards on the future of marketing

– At many companies, the whole organization is becoming more responsible for customer engagement. A few are extending this thinking... to the boardroom.
Article

Elevating technology on the boardroom agenda

– Boards are starting to guide management by asking the right questions about technology.

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Board structure and foundations

Commentary - McKinsey Quarterly

Straight talk about gender diversity in the boardroom and beyond

– In these interview excerpts, leaders describe their efforts at promoting gender equality on boards and explore the challenges... that still linger.
Article - McKinsey Quarterly

How to accelerate gender diversity on boards

– Slow progress in adding more women to boards has dominated the conversation. But tips from standout companies are more likely... to inspire others to take firmer action.
Commentary

Making boards work

– Most directors don’t understand the company’s strategy and prioritize short-term gain at the expense of creating long-term... value. We recommend four essential changes.
Article - McKinsey Quarterly

Board governance depends on where you sit

– William George, former CEO of Medtronic and a veteran of ten corporate boards, reflects on common governance pitfalls and how... to overcome them.
Article

Boards: When best practice isn’t enough

– Many boards have improved their structures and processes. But to become truly effective stewards of their companies, they must... also instill the right mind-set and boardroom dynamics.
Article

How to choose the right nonexecutive board leader

– It’s time to use a structured process for selecting the nonexecutive leader of the board. Defining the role is a good start.
Commentary - McKinsey Quarterly

The crisis: Mobilizing boards for change

– To meet the challenges of the economic crisis, corporate boards must change the way they work.
Article

The voice of experience: Public versus private equity

– Few directors have served on the boards of both private and public companies. Those who have give their views here about which... model works best.

Board effectiveness

Survey

Toward a value-creating board

– The amount of time board directors spend on their work and commit to strategy is rising. But in a new survey, few respondents... rate their boards as effective at most tasks or report good feedback or training practices.
Article - McKinsey Quarterly

Changing the nature of board engagement

– Five tips for directors and CEOs striving to make the most of their limited time.
Interview

Are you getting all you can from your board of directors?

– Veteran director David Beatty finds many boards wanting—and considers how to improve them.
Survey

Improving board governance: McKinsey Global Survey results

– Directors are savvier about strategy than in 2011, still struggle to get their arms around risk management, and can learn more... from boards with the highest impact.
Article

Twelve questions every new director should ask

– Induction programs for new directors typically don’t provide a sufficiently detailed understanding of the business. New... directors should take ownership of their induction, designing and conducting their own due diligence, by asking twelve critical questions.
Survey

Governance since the economic crisis: McKinsey Global Survey results

– Corporate directors know what they should be doing. But they haven’t raised their game since 2008 and must strengthen their capabilities... and spend more time on board work.