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11 BizEd September/October 2014 ROB E RT CH U RCH I LL/TH I N KSTOCK Want More B-School News? To read an expanded online version of our news section, which offers bonus news content and a more comprehensive Short Takes section, visit september-october-2014.pdf IS THERE A DISPARITY between European board directors and their North American counterparts? Yes, according to a benchmarking sur- vey of nearly 300 European direc- tors conducted by the Corporate Governance Initiative at INSEAD of Fontainebleau, France, and the Clarkson Centre for Business Ethics and Board Effectiveness at the Uni- versity of Toronto's Rotman School of Management in Canada. One of the survey's primary con- clusions is that European directors demonstrate a lack of understanding of their industries. In addition, direc- tors act more like managers than board members and fail to devote sufficient time to their director duties. In all, the survey examined nearly a dozen factors deemed to be impeding director performance. The survey highlights the fact that Canadian directors seem to place greater importance on key governance areas—such as industry expertise—than do their European counterparts. In particular, Cana- dian boards give importance to executive forums where directors can express themselves freely and privately. By a 3-to-1 ratio, Cana- dian boards believed such forums were more important than their European peers did. The study recommends that European directors improve their performance by, among other things, developing a greater sense of duty toward the organization than to stakeholders, gaining greater industry knowledge, and paying more attention to process skills such as board evaluation practices. More information is available at centres/governance_initiative/. MBA Applicants: Why You? APPLICANTS TO THE MBA pro- gram at Georgetown University's McDonough School of Busi- ness in Washington, D.C., now have only one essay question to answer: "Why you?" The single question, which calls for a 750- word response, replaces last year's requirement of two essays and a tweet. In the past, applicants were more inclined to tell the school what they thought the admis- sions team wanted to hear or to repackage the values and attri- butes of the program in their essays, explains Shari Hubert, associate dean for MBA Admis- sions. "We are looking for an answer that cannot be found from research on our website." Hubert expects applicants to answer the question in a variety of ways, whether they describe their career aspirations or the traits that make them special. That means there's no "right" answer to the question, she adds. "This is more about our appli- cants having an opportunity to show us who they are and how they think." HOW ARE INNOVATORS and leaders moving beyond tra- ditional notions of social responsibility and sustainabil- ity? Addressing that question will be "Flourish & Pros- per: The Third Global Forum for Business as an Agent of World Benefit," to be held October 15 through 17 at Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland, Ohio. The event is hosted by the Weatherhead School of Man- agement and convened by the Fowler Center for Busi- ness as an Agent of World Benefit. At the conference, attendees will hear about real- world examples of companies that use new business solutions to combine profitability and social responsibil- ity. Keynote speakers include Nobel Peace Prize winner Martti Ahtisaari, president of Finland; Raj Sisodia, co- founder of Conscious Capitalism; Mark Moody-Stuart, former chairman of Anglo American and Royal Dutch/ Shell; and China Gorman of Great Place to Work. Go to for a full list of speakers, sponsors—including AACSB Interna- tional—and other details. Register for the conference at forum-registration-11184225319. Boardroom Behavior Business that Benefits the World

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