Boardroom INSIDER for… JANUARY



(January, 2017) In the U.S., the incoming Trump presidency is making waves with unconventional cabinet picks. ExxonMobil CEO Rex Tillerson for secretary of state; CKE Restaurants CEO Andrew Puzder for secretary of labor; Dr. Ben Carson to run Housing and Urban Development; Amway scion Betsy DeVos to head Education. The two biggest factors seem to be business success and unusual vitae for their roles (WWE wrestling CEO Linda McMahon to lead the Small Business Administration?)

The end result may look like a very odd presidential cabinet. But the January issue of online governance monthly Boardroom INSIDER notes that the lineup makes perfect sense if viewed as Trump’s new presidential “board of directors.”

“Trump has actually assembled a world-class corporate board, and will likely expect them to perform as one,” writes BI publisher and governance speaker Ralph Ward. Global board members are sought both for their vitae and their cross-functional talents. With that philosophy, “putting a brain surgeon in charge of U.S. housing policy makes sense,” writes Ward. Further, “If you want your secretary of state to be a proven global dealmaker, then Rex Tillerson may be ideal for the job” — even without the usual seasoning in government diplomacy.

The “cabinet as boardroom” model suggests Trump will ask his team to brainstorm together more than usual cabinets, and also reach outside their traditional portfolios to pull a few strings. As a downside, Ward warns this approach can lead to personal conflict concerns (already being raised by some critics) and potential turf battles.

Also in the January Boardroom INSIDER:

pink The “board skills matrix” – what it is and how to use it.
pink Fresh tips for shaking up board committees.
pink Q&A: How can we ease into setting board term limits?