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Boards, talent, and culture

Boards need to ensure that management walks the talk on culture and values

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Board members are increasingly challenging management to ensure the organization’s talent pipeline can meet the needs of the strategy. In this episode of the Inside the Strategy Room podcast, we continue our series on board perspectives by looking at the board’s role in helping organizations develop the right talent and culture. To explore this topic, Frithjof Lund, the global leader of McKinsey’s board services work, speaks with two experts on governance and organization. Hugo Bague, a former group executive at Rio Tinto, is a non-executive director on the board of Jones Lang LaSalle (JLL), a global real estate services firm, where he chairs the compensation committee. Mary Meaney is a globally recognized leader on change management and organizational transformations who until recently co-led McKinsey’s Global Organization Practice and served on the global governance board. This is an edited transcript of the discussion. For more conversations on the strategy issues that matter, subscribe to the series on Apple Podcasts or Google Podcasts.

Frithjof Lund: The importance of maintaining a strong culture and talent pipeline has arguably grown during the pandemic. Hugo, how do you see that play out in boardroom discussions?

Hugo Bague: All the technological changes, market changes, and changes in the employment market have led to discussions at the board table because, of course, they link with strategy. Do we have the right talent to fulfill that strategy? While years ago, financial capital was the dominant aspect of board discussions, that is now balanced with these other topics.

Frithjof Lund: One of the board’s key roles is overseeing CEO succession. Are boards now extending that lens to other talent?

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