If you are an executive, board member, or shareholder in a mid-cap publicly traded company, I encourage you to join NACD. Not only are their publications excellent, their training programs and conferences are well worth your time.
As a growth strategist/executive advisor, I try to fit the annual conference of the National Association of Corporate Directors (NACD) into my schedule because attendance is a very cost effective way to learn best practices, hear current case studies about the impact of changing regulations, compare responses to economic uncertainty, access analysis of trends, and observe the shifts in the roles of standing committees (audit, governance, CEO compensation, etc.). Since our client base has some challenges related to sustainability and risk management, this year, my NACD conference schedule emphasized those topics.
The candor of panelists at NACD general sessions is helpful. This year, the Chairman of the Board, who was brought in following GM’s bankruptcy, provided examples about how they moved so quickly. A prominent member of McDonalds Corporation’s board of directors shared advice about managing succession. One CEO passed away suddenly only to have his replacement develop cancer. They had 3 CEOs in a very short period of time. That could happen to any company. Imagine if it happened to your mid-cap business. A board member from FORD Corporation was very candid about the increased number of hours involved in fulfilling the fiduciary responsibility involved with board service today. Some speakers observed that Dodd Frank legislation is equivalent to “Sarbanes Oxley on steroids.” Examples about how much information is now needed in proxy statements were discussed. Some corporate boards are clearly struggling with investors who demand say on [executive] pay. Does publically-traded mean that a corporation must reveal EVERYTHING to the smallest investor, the media, and competitors?
The median size of a US based publicly traded company is around $450 Mil/yr. For that to be true there must be an awful lot of relatively small publicly traded companies for every multi-billion dollar Fortune 100 corporation we read about all of the time. IPOs in the tech sector (eg. FACEBOOK) garner more media attention, but mid cap service firms and distributors also appear on the NYNEX AND NY Stock Exchange lists. The risks have increased. The stakes are high. The examples of “good ole’ boys just saying yes to their CEO buddy” are fewer and fewer each year. It is not coincidental that NACD just published a white paper on BOARD DIVERSITY with the emphasis on turning talk into action. Today’s corporate board needs a diverse blend of expertise, skills, perspectives, and experience represented at the board room table (or SKYPE video conference call).
Aldonna R. Ambler, CMC, CSP has earned the right to be called THE GROWTH STRATEGIST®. She has won over 2 dozen national and statewide “entrepreneur of the year” awards for the resilient growth of her international businesses across 4 recessions. Her midsized BtoB clients get on…and then stay on…the published lists of the fastest growing privately held companies. She owns and operates a suite of companies that help privately held midsized companies achieve accelerated growth with sustained profitability® through opportunity & resource analysis, 4 approaches to strategic planning, executive advisory services, growth financing, and targeted search. 2012 is Ambler’s 8th year hosting a weekly peer-to-peer-to-peer syndicated on line talk show that features interviews with CEOs/Presidents of midsized companies (typically between $20 and 200 Mil/yr) sharing success tips about the growth strategy-of-the-week. An archive of over 300 interviews is available at www.GrowthStrategistShow.com. Ambler is an experienced board member and earned certification through the National Association of Corporate Directors. She can be reached toll free at 1-888-Aldonna or at Aldonna@AMBLER.com.
Known as The Growth Strategist®, Aldonna Ambler built and grew a suite of companies to help midsized B2B companies achieve accelerated growth with sustained profitability® A Certified Speaking Professional (CSP), Ambler has addressed over 2000 audiences and hosted a syndicated online talk show about growth strategies for 9 years. As a growth financing intermediary, Ambler raised over $1 Bil dollars for midsized companies. The winner of over 2 dozen prestigious national and statewide "entrepreneur of the year" awards, Ambler is available to speak about “profitable growth during any economy” and/or serve on the board of a growth-oriented privately-held company.