This is a blog by a former CEO of a large Boston hospital to share thoughts about negotiation theory and practice, leadership training and mentoring, and teaching.
I think it’s hard to generalize on this as there is too much difference from one situation to another. If 7-10 years were really the optimum tenure length for a hospital CEO as a general rule, than one could ask whether term limits would be appropriate. I, for one, would not support that. I know in the corporate world there have been highly effective CEO’s who served with distinction for decades. Others are mediocre from the start. If the leadership is effective and the CEO is happy to come to work every day and do a great job, I don’t see any reason to force a change just because a certain number of years have passed.That said, if there is a sense that someone else could better provide the leadership that the hospital needs at a certain point in time, then the Board needs to be able to step up and make the change if necessary though I know that’s easier said than done.
Too little attention is paid to the composition and role of Boards in both for-profit and non-profit organizations, but particularly in the latter. In contrast to your described Board situation, Paul, there is the utter debacle perpetrated on the University of Virginia recently by its Board's ill-advised attempt to dismiss the University President. (Google for details; it's too long for here). The damage done to relationships between the Board and all other stakeholders, to donations, and to organization-wide morale was utterly massive and utterly unnecessary.So, while my comment is slightly off-topic, I think the more general point is that the relationships between CEO's and Boards are complex and evolutionary, and constant attention must be paid to them as the years pass. How to construct a formal structure to ensure this remains problematic.nonlocal MD
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