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Deloitte calls for boards to be more agile in stakeholder engagement at the launch of the Malaysia Global Boardroom Program

KUALA LUMPUR, 17 November 2022 – Chairpersons and the board of directors need to remain agile by transitioning to be more active when engaging with stakeholders, said Deloitte Malaysia.

Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Yee Wing Peng said with a drastically different business environment, the role of chairs would continue to evolve.

“They need to leverage on listening to various opinions of directors and management teams, including stakeholders, in order to provide firm strategic direction. Boards also need to consider how organisations could effectively shape strategies to address climate change impact,” he said in his welcoming remarks at the launch of the Malaysia Global Boardroom Programme.

Yee noted that Malaysian boards were quick to rise to the challenge as the ultimate stewardship body of their organisation in guiding and supporting the management to steer out of crises, judging from the country’s highly commendable gross domestic product (GDP) growth for the first quarter (Q1) of 5.0 percent, Q2 of 8.9 percent and further accelerated to 14.2 percent in Q3 this year.

“This is a good indicator of the strong recovery of our economy and big corporations are playing a significant role in the recovery,” he said.

Meanwhile, in its recently launched global report – board effectiveness and the chair of the future – from the Deloitte Global Boardroom Programme, Yee noted that the report identified five key traits of a successful chair.

This includes more chair input in organizational governance; deeper integration and responsibility to society; ensuring climate change is embedded in business strategy; effective crisis management under extreme uncertainty; and the importance of embracing digital enhancement and agility.

“Hence, together with our partner, the Institute of Corporate Directors Malaysia (ICDM), we are excited to play an important role through the Malaysia Global Boardroom Programme in shaping future chairs and boards of public entities,” said Yee.

Additionally, he said Deloitte had been partnering with like-minded organisations for various board development thought leadership events such as in key governance matters, namely conducting several mock board simulation programmes, targeted to prepare aspiring women for boards.

Looking forward to the next three years, Yee said results of Deloitte’s soon-to-be published Trust and Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) survey indicated that boards’ main priority may shift towards ESG, followed by innovation and customer experience.

Meanwhile, ICDM president and CEO Michele Kythe Lim in her presentation: Malaysia Perspective on Future of Chair: said highly effective board chairs need to encourage independence and facilitate high-quality debates.

She said the strongest chairs are great facilitators, and they get the best out of the board as a collective group as well as out of individual directors.

“The role of the chair is highly skilled and when it is performed well, directly correlates to a better functioning board overall and better corporate outcomes. Refresh your (board members) knowledge, keep up with the latest trends, issues and developments that may impact you and your organisation so you can better contribute to your boards,” said Lim.

The Global Boardroom Programme is a knowledge centre, designed to provide boards and senior management with a single point of access to Deloitte insights, analysis and webinars on critical topics.

The programme, which has been launched in 70 countries, aims to create a network of board members, both locally and globally, to promote dialogue on critical issues and topics relevant to boards and C-suites.

Source: BERNAMA Business News, 17 November 2022


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