Marsha Ershaghi Hames on The Board’s Role in Corporate Culture [Podcast]


By Adam Turteltaub

Corporate culture, tone at the top, proper governance and the relationship between the board and compliance have all been frequent subjects of conversations of late. In this podcast, Marsha Ershaghi Hames, partner at Tapestry Networks, shares recent research into governing boards and their role in shaping corporate culture.

The report, Assessing Corporate Culture:  A Practical Guide to Improving Board Oversight, and the research leading up to it, revealed that culture Is most definitely a focus of directors, and there is a strong need for board alignment on what the culture should be.

Turning that vision into a reality requires building bridges and a partnership between the board and the management team. It also requires data to measure where an organization is and to track progress about where it is going.

That is not all, though. Directors who formerly held compliance roles were quick to point out that there is a need to think beyond the numbers and balance quantitative, qualitative and anecdotal evidence. All these measures are essential to developing a holistic view.

The report, which was developed after interviews with 40 directors from 65 publicly traded companies, revealed five keys to success:

  1. Prioritize culture on the agenda
  2. The board has to challenge its own culture
  3. Monitor and measure, but also create blended data sources
  4. Ensure that the culture is articulated and simplified enough that it can be measured
  5. Calibrate the board and management structure to optimize the information flow

The last step means enabling managers, including compliance, to communicate directly with the board as needed to give it a fuller picture of the organization.

Listen in to learn more about how to help the board lead in shaping corporate culture.