Corporate America: It’s Time To Mandate The “Shadow Board”

It is frightening to see how many of our nation’s great storied organizations are being run by all-white and predominately male boards of directors. Boards that despite their stature and achievements, are so very out of touch with the millennial dominated culture we live in today. Without being hardwired during their formative years in a world of technology, the boards of these legacy companies are being driven by decisions of a world that no longer exists.


How are companies like Ford expected to compete in the rapidly evolving Automotive industry when nobody on the board has ever opened up SnapChat (just a guess :)). Product roadmaps, organizational designs, key hires, and marketing investments all need to be done with our new generation in mind. This is hard to do when nobody in the proverbial drivers seat is in tune with our future generation.

It always pains me to see middle-aged executives talk about Mark Zuckerberg as a god while the millennials in their organization aren’t even invited to the meeting. Younger people, more than ever, at legacy companies need to be empowered to make major decisions on the future.

The Answer: A Shadow Board

Large organizations should be mandated to create “Shadow Boards Of Directors” made up of gender neutral and diversified millennials. People who know where the world is heading because they are living in it, those who aren’t afraid to questions the status quo, those who aren’t burdened by legacy thinking.

The shadow board should have a platform on a quarterly basis to address and challenge the real board. Ask the tough questions. amd make the board feel uncomfortable in a way that Sr. Execs never would.

Its time for our nation’s old guard of industry titans move to disrupt themselves, before they are on the wrong side of change.