How to start looking forward? – a dilemma

Sections of this topic

    James is a recently-appointed director on the board of a family business. He is the nephew of the founder and has worked in the business for several years since completing his MBA.

    He is concerned because the board meetings are all taken up with historical reports and endless discussions of ‘who did what’ and how it affected performance. There has been no forward-looking or externally generated information presented to the board in all the months he has been a member.

    James knows that good boards operate at a strategic level and that his industry is changing rapidly with new technology and impending legislative changes. He has attempted to raise the issue with his uncle, who is now the company chairman, but got brushed off with the statement that none of the other directors were complaining.

    What should James do?

    Many readers of this blog will be familiar with my newsletter The Director’s Dilemma. This newsletter features a real life case study with expert responses containing advice for the protagonist. Many readers of this blog are practicing experts and have valuable advice to offer so, for the first time, we are posting an unpublished case study and inviting YOU to respond.

    If you would like to publish your advice on this topic in a global company directors’ newsletter please respond to the dilemma above with approximately 250 words of advice for Graham. Back issues of the newsletter are available at where you can check out the format and quality.

    The newsletters will be compiled into a book. If your advice relates to a legal jurisdiction, the readers will be sophisticated enough to extract the underlying principles and seek detailed legal advice in their own jurisdiction. The first volume of newsletters is published and available at

    What would you advise?

    Julie Garland-McLellan has been internationally acclaimed as a leading expert on board governance. See her website or visit her author page at