Board effectiveness and the chair of the future: Executive summary

We are pleased to share with you an executive summary of our new report: Board effectiveness and the chair of the future. Over the past few years, Deloitte member firms have published reports about the Chair of the Future in various countries across the world. This global effort brings together key insights and draws out common themes from those country reports. In total, the global report represents the insights from over 300 interviews with board chairs from across 16 countries.

Chairs today play a critical role in the success or failure of their organizations; they serve as a trusted sounding board and guiding hand for the CEO. Huge forces and challenges are redefining the role in real time—from the pandemic to geopolitical disruption, right through to digital transformation, climate change, heightened regulation, societal demands of business and investor scrutiny.

While our research showed a diversity of chair perspectives across all geographies, what was striking were the points of commonality. As global chairs navigate a new world, our survey revealed five fundamental forces of change that chairs will need to grapple with in the future:

  1. Organizational governance needs more chair input: Some fundamental qualities that make for successful chair and board relationships with management have not changed. What’s new? The depth and breadth of that involvement. Chairs increasingly need to act as a guiding hand on topics ranging from resilience to technology and culture, while respecting the board’s role.
  2. Society expects more from business: Chairs globally see the changing relationship between business and society as one of their key focus areas. Most chairs acknowledge a responsibility to local communities and address society’s most pressing challenges as part of a social license to operate.
  3. Climate change requires businesses to respond: Chairs are increasingly preoccupied by the enormity of climate change and the challenges and risks for the company. Despite the scale of the issue, particularly regarding Scope 3 emissions, chairs see significant opportunities for businesses that lead the way on climate change and shape strategies to address its impact.
  4. Crisis leadership is becoming the norm: Even before the pandemic, chairs and boards perceived an increasing frequency of crises than in the past. Chairs note that managing crises today calls for greater speed in decision-making, action, and communication, under greater public scrutiny than ever before.
  5. The board now operates in a hybrid and agile mode: Like the companies they serve, chairs adjusted quickly to the pandemic, leading board meetings virtually. After a steep learning curve, many found participation improved and meetings became more agile, shorter, more frequent, and often more focused. However, there is a balance to strike between taking a hybrid approach, mixing both in-person and virtual, when managing boards.

Download your copy of the report here.

Fullwidth SCC. Do not delete! This box/component contains JavaScript that is needed on this page. This message will not be visible when page is activated.

Hade du nytta av den här informationen?