‘NACD Directorship’ magazine articles has been saved
‘NACD Directorship’ magazine articles
Recently published board-relevant perspective
Deloitte leaders share insights on the challenging, emerging topics faced by today’s board members as published in the ‘NACD Directorship' magazine.
- Respond, recover, and thrive beyond COVID-19
- Keeping culture top of mind in the boardroom
- How to create a board culture of inclusion
- Harness the power of ESG transparency
- The Tech-Savvy necessity: Preparing the board to go beyond the digital frontier
Respond, recover, and thrive beyond COVID-19
The COVID-19 pandemic may be one of the most consequential events in our lives, and additional social unrest has only brought more complexity and urgency for leaders. Just as many members of the “greatest generation” felt the impact of the Great Depression and the Second World War long after, those living through these turbulent times will feel the aftereffects for many years, if not decades, to come. The same can be said for businesses around the globe. All industries—even those that remain successful through these unprecedented events—will be dealing with the repercussions for the foreseeable future. While it is impossible to know what COVID-19 and recent social unrest will leave in their wake, companies, with the oversight of their boards, must take action to move beyond merely responding to these events and toward recovering and eventually thriving.
Keeping culture top of mind in the boardroom
COVID-19 and the challenges of managing a displaced workforce are highlighting the importance of board oversight of corporate culture. Despite the competing demands for directors’ attention, the importance of governing culture has not diminished. If anything, it is more important than ever. A strong corporate culture provides the foundation for business resiliency, allowing a company to better respond to disruption and support its employees in a time of uncertainty. It also provides a framework for protecting critical assets, including reputation, intellectual property, and talent, so that the organization can rebound more quickly.
How to create a board culture of inclusion
Diversity brings many different dimensions of value to organizations operating in an increasingly complex environment. From increased creativity to stronger governance and improved problem-solving abilities, diversity equates to better business outcomes. From a governance perspective, we’ve seen anemic progress in diverse representation. For instance, in the Fortune 500, women hold just under 23 percent of board seats and minority men hold below 12 percent. And, when it comes to diversity of experience, director recruitment continues to prioritize classic skills such as executive leadership and finance over deep entrepreneurial talent and technology experience.
Harness the power of ESG transparency
Sustainability is going mainstream. The number of S&P 500 companies publishing some form of sustainability disclosure increased from 20 percent in 2011 to 86 percent in 2018, according to data from the Governance & Accountability Institute. Furthermore, the Investor Responsibility Research Center Institute found that 40 percent of the S&P 500 now voluntarily address some aspect of sustainability in financial filings. Companies are also recognizing that simply providing data may not go far enough for investors; accordingly, 36 percent of S&P 500 companies now obtain assurance on select environmental, social, and governance (ESG) information in their sustainability reports, and three percent obtain assurance on sustainability reports as a whole.
The tech-savvy necessity: Preparing the board to go beyond the digital frontier
Technology governance and oversight in the boardroom, in recent years, has largely reinforced the necessity to defensively protect and preserve an organization and its assets. Increasingly, boards are shifting the tech focus to understand how technology can also be leveraged offensively to create and enable new opportunities, business models, and revenue sources. As a result, many board members are seeking to understand the business impact of emerging technology trends to better exercise oversight without stepping into management’s role—in other words, keeping their "fingers in and noses out."