NACD Releases Blue Ribbon Commission Report On Talent Development

Thursday, October 17, 2013 - 10:33

On the heels of several notable – and sometimes abrupt – CEO exits in 2013, the National Association of Corporate Directors (NACD) has released a Blue Ribbon Commission report on talent development at the NACD Board Leadership Conference in Washington, D.C. 

NACD’s latest Blue Ribbon Commission report, “Talent Development: A Boardroom Imperative,” outlines several reasons why boards need to make talent development oversight a primary focus and provides guidance from more than 25 experienced public company directors, leading governance professionals, and experts in the field of human resources on effective talent nurturing programs. 

The commission was chaired by Gregory Lau, managing director in RSR Partner’s board of directors practice, director of NACD, and former executive director of global compensation and corporate governance at General Motors, and Mary Pat McCarthy, director of Mutual of Omaha and Tesoro, and former vice chair of KPMG LLP.

Talent development should be on every boardroom agenda for several key reasons, including the following: 

  • The pool of experienced senior management and executives is shrinking.
  • Among directors, talent development has jumped in priority eight spots from 13th to 5th in the past five years, according to NACD’s 2013–2014 Public Company Governance Survey.
  • Investors and financial analysts are focusing on talent:human capital can account for up to 15 percent of valuation, according to data from Mercer.

The report goes beyond CEO succession planning and also highlights ways to grow talent throughout an organization. 

“Strategy rarely carries the day, but great execution of strategy does,” said Ken Daly, NACD president and CEO. “Directors need to ensure management has the right talent in place and in the pipeline.”

Included in the report are key questions directors can ask to ensure their company has a strong talent pipeline, samples of metrics to monitor the talent pipeline, and 10 imperatives for effective board oversight of talent development.

For more information or to obtain a copy of this report, visit