Why Boards Must Approach Human Capital as a Competitive Advantage

Episode Summary

Everyone agrees that people make the difference in building successful companies, yet we don’t always see human capital oversight on board or committee agendas. Many corporate directors will admit that CEO succession is a board duty that often gets pushed aside, and that attitude seems to trickle down to the board’s oversight of talent recruitment, employee development, and corporate culture.

In this episode, Michael Steib, CEO & director with XO Group Inc. and outside board member with Ally Financial, shares how boards and management should approach discussions of human capital—and how that can translate to bottom-line success. Sitting on both sides of the board table, Steib discusses his perspective as a CEO and as a sitting director. His philosophy for creating “productive conflict” is not only a tenet at his company but in the boardroom as well.

In principle, we know that there’s no one person in the organization who’s as smart as all the people in the organization. And so, when you create an environment where debate is not just okay, but it’s actually a responsibility of everyone in the room, we get to better answers—and as a result, we run a better company.
— Board Member, Ally Financial & CEO, XO Group Inc.

As a member of the Next Gen Board Leaders Advisory Council, Steib discusses the 2017 Mini-Summit, where ten young “mover and shaker” board members met to swap experiences and discuss critical governance topics through a generational lens. In this episode, we cover:

  • How can boards stay on top of human capital oversight?
  • How do successful companies use human capital as a competitive advantage?
  • In what ways must “productive conflict” be a priority?
  • As boards begin to recruit digital natives, what other changes may be expected in the board’s composition?

Curious about Next Gen Board Leaders?

Next Gen Board Leaders

This new community was designed to spark discussion around the challenges, opportunities, and contributions of a younger generation in today’s boardrooms. Click here to read about this new initiative.

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