Summary of The Fish Rots from the Head

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The Fish Rots from the Head book summary


7 Overall

8 Applicability

5 Innovation

7 Style


Is corporate governance in crisis? Look no further than the front page of your newspaper. You'll see a plethora of grubby stories concerning greedy CEOs, negligent boards, irate shareholders, downsized employees, cheated pension holders and ripped-off customers. Meanwhile, government regulators sharpen their claws and get ready to pounce. The public has become increasingly angry and cynical about corporate ethics, as the "perp walks" of pinstriped malefactors have become a nightly TV spectacle. Since it is directors who should ensure corporate accountability, transparency and probity – virtues sadly lacking in many boardrooms – directors are catching the heat. Bob Garratt insists that to clean things up, you must begin at the top. His insightful book details why boards have deteriorated and how they can improve. The title, a Chinese proverb, is an apt metaphor for the malodorous results of the governance mess. getAbstract recommends Garratt's informed exposé to corporate executives and board members who seek a thoughtful prescription for meaningful change.

In this summary, you will learn

  • Why many corporate boards have often been "missing in action" in recent years;
  • Why the "unitary/learning" board represents the best structure to improve overall board performance; and
  • Why training and accreditation are ideal methods to upgrade corporate boards for the future.

About the Author

Bob Garratt is the chairman of a London-based firm that assists companies to develop professional and effective boards. He is also a professor of corporate governance at London University.



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