Recently Listed Company

The board of this company was affected by constant disagreement between executive and non-executive directors regarding the extent and nature of the information the board should receive and the sort of queries that non-executives should pursue.

We found that the non-executives and executives, including one executive who was the founder of the firm and retained a large shareholding, had profoundly different conceptions of the role of the board in a publicly listed company, which led to them speaking at cross-purposes much of the time. The resultant frustration led to unhelpful patterns of behaviour which made the situation worse. There were also structural features of the organisation which meant that some non-executives had less access to information, and therefore were more persistent in asking, than others.

We set out the underlying causes for the board and invited them to confront the limited number of options that were available to them if they were to escape from a situation that no-one enjoyed. Soon afterwards, the chairman told us that “the shock therapy seems to have worked” and asked our advice on monitoring progress.

Case Studies