Role of the Chair top banner - IMD Business School Role of the Chair top banner - IMD Business School Role of the Chair top banner - IMD Business School
On campus program
The Role of the Chair

Develop best chairing practices for boards and committees

On campus program

The Role of the Chair

Develop best chairing practices for boards and committees

2 days
CHF 6,600
Next program starts
30 May 2024

Drive value through focused and collaborative board work

Chairing practice has evolved in the face of the transformation imperative prompted by geopolitical and macroeconomic instability, societal tensions, and increasingly complex stakeholder dynamics.

IMD’s Role of the Chair program will give you a deep understanding of how impactful board chairs fulfill their role and responsibilities, and the practices and behaviors they adopt when holding the board to its highest standard as it serves its governance mission. 

You will also explore the crucial role of committee chairs in leading high-quality discussions at the committee level, anticipating blind spots, and effectively interfacing for decision-making at the board level.

A strong relationship between the Chair and CEO is essential to successful corporate leadership. You will learn the indicators of a healthy relationship, as well as the warning signs of possible dysfunctions and how to address them.

Leading active board and committee chairs from various organizations will share their experiences of what it takes to be an effective chair in different contexts and situations, including crises. You will leave the program with a firm grasp of how chairs ensure the efficient operation of the board and its committees, in conformity with the highest standards of corporate governance.

Examine the role of the Chair

Explore the multiple responsibilities of the Chair, including fostering a productive board culture by driving inclusive discussions that lead to the highest quality decisions for the organization.

Gain insights into the Chair-CEO relationship

Grasp how effective chairs balance an independent role of challenge and support with the CEO, characterized by significant trust, frequent open communication, and mutual respect of boundaries and roles.

Learn how to develop a strategic board agenda

Discover best practices for setting the board agenda with a focus on strategy, performance, value creation, and accountability.

Understand the Chair’s role as the link between board and management

Look at how the Chair builds links between the board and management, including through appropriate delegation.

Explore what makes boards and committees effective

Familiarize yourself with practices that ensure the board and its committees operate effectively, according to the highest standards of corporate governance.

IMD Disruptive Innovation participants - IMD Business School
Is this program for you?

The Role of the Chair program will benefit you if you are:

  • A Chair or Vice Chair of the board of directors of a medium- to large- sized private or public enterprise, non-profit organization, foundation, or governmental entity
  • The Chair of a non-executive board committee looking to enhance performance


Your class is carefully selected to ensure a truly diverse group of global peers. Your class will become a trusted resource, encourage your learning journey and surprise you in many unanticipated beneficial ways both during and beyond your classroom experience.

Benefit from a complimentary profile assessment to see if this is the right program for you.

Your learning journey
Day 1

Creating Mission & Purpose

  • Gain clarity on the roles and responsibilities of board chairs and committee chairs.
  • Understand how to foster productive discussion at board and committee level.
  • Learn steps for successfully onboarding new board members.
  • Lead effective stakeholder engagement, including discussions with shareholders.
  • Explore the role of board committees.
  • Ensure that the company’s purpose is well defined and articulated, and translated into the strategic direction.


Key topics:

  • Promoting engagement, trust, and mutual respect within the board to foster a productive board culture
  • Driving the clarity of board conclusions
  • Balancing the need for focused discussions with the need to ensure that attention is given to complex or contentious issues
Day 2

Building organizational resilience

  • Deep dive into the CEO-Chair relationship to balance support and challenge effectively.
  • Understand the importance of diversity and inclusion, and ensure that they are well leveraged in the boardroom.
  • Prepare the board to be resilient to and navigate crises, in line with the organization’s purpose and values.
  • Communicate effectively with shareholders, host governments, and other relevant stakeholders, and make sure that the views of these groups are understood by the board.
  • Monitor board performance and effectiveness through evaluations.


Key topics:

  • Fostering a productive Chair-CEO relationship, to support and serve as a sounding board
  • Managing the CEO performance evaluation and succession process
  • Monitoring and actively leveraging the board’s composition and diversity, and planning for succession to ensure the board continues to evolve with organizational needs
Board community - IMD Business School
A valuable board community

On completion of this program, you will be part of IMD’s board community. This network of board program alumni meets regularly – face-to-face and virtually – to exchange board experiences from different contexts and discuss the latest developments and trends in governance. You will be able to count on this valuable community of peers for advice and support far into the future.

Next start & fee

Length: 2 days on campus

30 May – 31 May 2024
2 days
CHF 6,600

Tuition, teaching materials, and lunch are included.
All fees quoted are exclusive of any value-added or other indirect taxes that may be due in any country.
IMD reserves the right to modify the program dates, location, and fee at any time.

 - IMD Business School

The Chair is the most critical actor in enabling effective governance in any organization. In this rapidly changing global context, the Chair needs to be more actively involved in leading the board to ensure it truly adds organizational value – and deftly navigates any turbulence encountered – while also cultivating a healthy relationship with the CEO. Committee work is central to governance and also requires active, effective chairs. Skillful chairing is key to driving high-integrity, long-term success.

Read more

Didier Cossin Program Director

The main responsibility of a board is to ensure the company’s ongoing success. This means that members should be fully aligned with the company’s strategic direction, purpose, and values. Additionally, the diverse experiences, backgrounds, and complementary skills of its members should enrich the board’s discussions. The board should ask all the relevant pertinent questions.

Paul Bulcke - Role of Chair - IMD Business School
Paul Bulcke Chairman at Nestlé, Board responsibilities at several companies including L’Oréal, WEF, and Avenir Suisse
 - IMD Business School  - IMD Business School  - IMD Business School
IMD Board Director Diploma

Elevate your performance in the boardroom

IMD Board Director Diploma

Elevate your performance in the boardroom

 - IMD Business School
One step closer to joining IMD alumni network

Successful completion of this program takes you one step closer to joining IMD’s powerful alumni network.

130k+ alumni


250+ events per year


50+ clubs worldwide


 - IMD Business School
What would you like to learn?
 - IMD Business School
Learn more about IMD