Culture as a Corporate Asset

Culture as a Corporate Asset

Translating Values Into Value

Similar to an organization’s people, intellectual property, technology, and other assets, culture is a key success factor that contributes to an organization's competitive advantage and to long-term value creation. Yet in too many organizations, culture does not get the level of boardroom attention it deserves until a problem arises. The members of the 2017 NACD Blue Ribbon Commission issue a call to action for directors of all organizations to elevate their dialogue on culture—including culture inside the boardroom—in order to improve the quality of the board’s work and enhance its impact.

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Select Recommendations

  • Build Culture Into Ongoing Discussions With Management About Strategy, Risk, and Performance
    Emphasize that the way in which results are achieved is as important as whether or not a given goal is met.

  • Board-Level Reporting on Culture
    Directors should demand both qualitative and quantitative data from management about the health of the firm’s culture, including information from sources outside the organization. 

  • Formal and Informal Reviews of Boardroom Culture
    Use results of board evaluations and executive-session discussions about culture to inform board composition, succession planning, and continuous-improvement efforts.

  • Make Culture a Formal Criterion in CEO Selection, Evaluation, and Compensation
    Directors should set the expectation that the CEO and senior executives do the same with their own teams.

The 2017 NACD Blue Ribbon Commission

  • Nicholas M. Donofrio
    Director, AMD Inc., BNY Mellon Corp., Delphi Automotive PLC, Liberty Mutual Group, The MITRE Corp., NACD

  • Helene D. Gayle
    McKinsey Social Initiative; Director, The Coca-Cola Co., The Colgate-Palmolive Co.
  • Joan Amble
    Director, Booz Allen Hamilton Inc., Sirius XM Holdings Inc., Zurich Insurance Group
  • Shellye Archambeau
    MetricStream Inc.; Director, Nordstrom Inc., Verizon Communications Inc.
  • Daryl Brewster
    CECP: The CEO Force for Good; Director, FreshPet, Manna Pro Products LLC
  • Stephen Brown
    KPMG Board Leadership Center
  • Phyllis Campbell
    JPMorgan Chase & Co.; Director, Alaska Air Group Inc., Toyota North America Advisory Board
  • Rodney Chase
    Director, Hess Corp., Tesoro Corp.
  • Sue Cole
    SAGE Leadership & Strategy; Director, Biscuitville Inc., Diversified Trust Company, Martin Marietta Materials Inc., NACD
  • Theodore Dysart
    Heidrick & Struggles
  • Charles Elson
    University of Delaware Weinberg Center for Corporate Governance; Director, Bob Evans Farms Inc., HealthSouth Corp.
  • Brenda Gaines
    Director, NACD, Southern Company Gas, Tenet Healthcare Corp., Smithsonian Institution National Board
  • Peter Gleason
    NACD; Director, Nura Health Inc.
  • Holly Gregory
    Global Corporate Governance & Executive Compensation Practice, Sidley Austin LLP
  • Janice Hamby
    National Defense University College of Information and Cyberspace; Director, American Armed Forces Mutual Aid Association, Cubic Corp.
  • Leslie Heisz
    Director, Edwards Lifesciences Corp., Public Storage, Kaiser Permanente
  • Robert Herz
    Director, Fannie Mae, Morgan Stanley, Paxos, Workiva, Sustainability Accounting Standards Board Foundation
  • Dan Hesse
    Director, Akamai Technologies Inc., PNC Financial Services Group Inc.
  • Karen Horn
    Director, NACD, Simon Property Group, National Bureau of Economic Research, US-Russia Foundation for Economic Development
  • Marie Oh Huber
    eBay Inc.; Director, James Campbell Company LLC, Silicon Valley Community Foundation

About NACD's Blue Ribbon Commission Reports

Our Blue Ribbon Commission Reports (BRCs) are NACD’s annual signature publications that propose new principles and practices to address the most critical boardroom issues.  Read more about the history and impact of the BRC report series here.