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How Boards Work

Business Book Awards, People, Culture & Management category, 2022

Paperback / ISBN-13: 9780349128399

Price: £12.99

ON SALE: 7th September 2023

Genre: Economics, Finance, Business & Management

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‘Highly instructive . . . provides thoughtful analysis’ Financial Times

‘Exactly what any prospective-or sitting-board member needs’ Arianna Huffington

‘A must read . . . highly engaging . . . an indispensable guide to how boards function, malfunction, and, most importantly, should operate better’ Mohamed A. El-Erian

Corporate boards are under great pressure. Scandals and malpractice at companies like GE, Theranos and WeWork have raised justified questions among regulators, shareholders, and the public about the quality of corporate governance. Boards face ever-louder demands to weigh in on questions of climate change, racial and gender equity, data privacy, and other social issues that range far beyond their traditional mandate: choosing the CEO and endorsing corporate strategy.

In HOW BOARDS WORK, prizewinning economist, veteran board director, and bestselling author Dambisa Moyo offers an insider’s view of corporate boards as they are buffeted by the turbulence of our times. Drawing on her decade of experience serving on corporate boards, Moyo lays out what it is that boards actually do, and she outlines how they must adapt to survive the challenges of coming years. Corporations need boards that are more transparent, more knowledgeable, more diverse, and more deeply involved in setting the strategic course of the companies they lead.

HOW BOARDS WORK is an urgent road map for how boards can steer companies through tomorrow’s challenges and ensure they thrive to benefit their employees, shareholders, and society at large.


Boards have incredible power to impact how companies and their stakeholders meet the challenges of the modern age. But boards are complex and living organisms that require more than just getting smart people in a room. Dr. Moyo's book, informed by real-world experience in negotiating complex situations, should be a must-read for any board that wants to excel and have an impact today
Dan Loeb, Founder & CEO, Thirdpoint, and former Sothebys board member
This highly engaging book will rightly attract those interested not just in good corporate governance but also the well-functioning of market-based economies. Drawing on her direct involvements on several boards of companies facing difficult decisions, as well as her global economic expertise, Dr Moyo has written an indispensable guide to how boards function, malfunction, and, most importantly, should operate better. In not shying away from arguing for more assertive boards to overcome costly corporate failures and malaise, she sets out an action-oriented agenda for improving governance - to deal better with long-standing challenges, including better globalization and management of our environment, and to meet mounting new ones in a post-pandemic world. Simply put, this is a must-read for those who realize that, anchored by a more diverse mindset and modernized governance structures, companies can and must play a more important role in helping society overcome too many years of low, unequal, and non-sustainable growth, as well as proliferating mistrust and spreading marginalization
Mohamed A. El-Erian, President of Queens’ College, Cambridge University; Board Member, Under Armour; and author of THE ONLY GAME IN TOWN and WHEN MARKETS COLLIDE
How Boards Work offers a thorough and nuanced take on the ever-evolving role of corporate boards today. Dambisa Moyo provides a candid assessment of the challenges and opportunities that directors face and wisely warns of the dangers of stasis. The book is not only a must-read for the most tenured and experienced board members, but it also provides critical context to those who one day hope to have a seat at the table. CEOs and corporate leaders everywhere would also be wise to pick up this book
Mellody Hobson, Co-CEO Ariel Investments; Chair of the Board of Directors, Starbucks; Board Member, JP Morgan; former Dreamworks board chair; and former Estee Lauder board member
How Boards Work is exactly what any prospective-or sitting-board member needs to understand the true rigors and realities of board life. Having seen it all, Dambisa Moyo offers valuable guidance on how boards can best focus their time and energy while grappling with social, governance, and environmental issues
Arianna Huffington, Founder & CEO, Thrive Global, and former Uber board member