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Cover for Talent, Strategy, Risk

Talent, Strategy, Risk

How Investors and Boards Are Redefining TSR

Bill McNabb, Ram Charan, Dennis Carey


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Long-term value creation—the board's new agenda.

A big shift in public ownership has created a new set of challenges for boards. Index funds managed by firms like Vanguard, BlackRock, and State Street represent an emerging class of permanent institutional investors who are focused on creating and preserving long-term corporate value. These investors are stating in no uncertain terms that simply managing for short-term shareholder profit is not acceptable.

Bill McNabb, Ram Charan, and Dennis Carey have been on the front lines of these changes with the investment community, corporate boards, and top-level management teams. Since TSR (total shareholder return) cannot keep the short and long term in balance, the authors argue, boards should focus on a different kind of TSR—talent, strategy, and risk—because decisions and actions around these factors, more than any others, determine whether or not a company creates long-term value. This book redefines the board's agenda and explains how to:

  • Build and incentivize the right leadership team
  • Help leaders take a longer view and communicate it to investors
  • Refresh board composition and create diversity to meet the new challenges
  • Keep major risks, such as cyberattacks and sexual harassment allegations, front and center
  • Analyze the business through the eyes of a shareholder activist

With the new realities of corporate ownership, boards need to lead for the long term. This authoritative book shows them how.

Harvard Business Review Press, 9781633698321, 224pp.

Publication Date: July 6, 2021

About the Author

Bill McNabb is former Chairman and CEO of Vanguard, the world's second-largest mutual fund manager, with over $5 trillion in assets.Ram Charan is a world-renowned business adviser, author, teacher, and speaker who has spent the past forty years working with the CEOs, boards, and executives of the world's top companies. He is the author or coauthor of more than thirty books that together have sold over four million copies, including Boards That Lead and Talent Wins (both coauthored with Dennis Carey).Dennis Carey is Vice Chairman of Korn Ferry. He has recruited and assessed board directors and CEOs for some of the world's best-performing companies. He has coauthored seven books on talent, strategy, CEO succession, and corporate governance, including Boards That Lead and Talent Wins.