40: What Makes an Effective Board Member?
Meet the Guests:
This episode features three healthcare leaders. John Glaser, Ph.D. is an Executive in Residence at Harvard Medical School, and currently serves on multiple boards including HL7, the Scottsdale Institute, Wellsheet, Relatient, and NCQA. Kevin Sharer is a senior lecturer at Harvard University Business School and is the former Chairman and CEO of Amgen. He currently serves on the board for Allied Minds and the US Naval Academy Foundation. Kevin previously sat on the boards of directors for Chevron, 3M, and Northrop Grumman. Mindy Mount is a board member of The Learning Care Group, Cerner Corporation, Zayo Group, Group Nine Acquisition Corporation, and Technicolor, where she is also Vice Chairman.
Each leader gave slightly different answers; however, there are two key takeaways:
- Relationships. It is important for board members to have a good relationship among themselves and with the CEO. Teamwork facilitates many of the boards functions such as upholding a company’s vision, reaching consensus on strategy decisions, and monitoring and evaluating the CEO.
- Advisors Rather Than Managers. Board members advise rather than execute. This separation allows board members to act as outside observers and grants management flexibility in decision making and implementation.