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What’s the board’s role in strategy development?: Engaging the board in corporate strategy

David A. Nadler (Chairman and CEO of Mercer Delta Consulting (, a global management consulting firm that works with CEOs, senior executives and boards of directors in the areas of leadership and organizational change.)

Strategy & Leadership

ISSN: 1087-8572

Article publication date: 1 October 2004



This article offers an action plan for CEOs who wish to constructively engage their boards in strategy development. In this approach, the board participates in the strategic thinking and strategic decision‐making processes, adding value but not infringing on the CEO’s and executive team’s fundamental responsibilities. More specifically, in value‐added engagement, the CEO and management lead and develop the strategic plan with directors’ input, and the board generally approves the strategy and the metrics to assess progress. The author details the five key elements critical to successful engagement of the board in strategy development: view strategy as a process, not an event; design parallel but lagged processes; inform and educate the board; collect and analyze director input; generate strategic alternatives. The recommended framework for engaging the board in strategy development is called the “strategic choice process”; it has six steps, with the CEO and his/her team leading the way.



Nadler, D.A. (2004), "What’s the board’s role in strategy development?: Engaging the board in corporate strategy", Strategy & Leadership, Vol. 32 No. 5, pp. 25-33.



Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2004, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

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