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Perspectives

On the Board's Agenda

Top of mind topics for board members

Board-briefing articles that examine a single topic in detail with perspectives from Deloitte subject matter specialists.

Variance in succession strategy and transition processes

July 2024

Succession planning can vary greatly from one company to the next. In this abbreviated edition of On the Board’s Agenda, we combine survey data on succession planning strategies to explore variance in responses provided by CEOs and corporate secretaries. They were separately asked to identify who was involved in 1) crafting a succession strategy and 2) then using it for a CEO transition. They then indicated whether the board of directors and/or CEO were involved in each step of the succession planning process.

Embracing disruption: The board’s role in championing innovation to capture potential

June 2024

In today's rapidly evolving business landscape, innovation powers the heartbeat of progress. As new technologies disrupt traditional industries and consumer preferences shift seemingly overnight, organizations that thrive are those that embrace change. 

Yet, corporate boards may underestimate their strategic role in fostering these crucial adaptations. Conversations on technology disruption are often initially focused on backend operations (and efficiency), rather than proactive forces to drive seismic organizational shifts, catalyzing profound innovative transformation.

Governance of transformation amid an uncertain business climate

April 2024

Volatility wrought by a pandemic, economic upheavals, and geopolitical conflict—to name just a few challenges of late—have added a suite of new risks for boards to navigate. Finding a way through such turbulent waters isn’t easy. But according to Deloitte’s MarginPLUS 2024 Survey, a growing number of companies are charting a course with the help of transformation initiatives focused on margin improvement programs.

Regardless of form, transformation initiatives may involve large-scale changes that aim to bolster efficiency, reduce manual processes, and otherwise modernize business operations. Their scale and scope can be different across industry as can the governance processes.

 

Questioning technology governance orthodoxy

March 2024

Formerly a siloed and specialized topic, technology has become interwoven throughout many facets of governance. Yet even for the tech-savvy, strategizing around the increasingly rapid pace of advancement could prove challenging.

Deloitte’s Tech Trends 2024 may be useful for boards looking to separate the signal from the noise of current technology dialogues. According to the report, upcoming technology advancements are poised to fundamentally change how humans and machines interact in the workplace (and beyond). The board’s technology oversight processes may not be prepared for that kind of potential shift, but steps can be taken to reassess technology governance.

 

Living in "interesting" times: The 2024 board agenda

January 2024

Over the course of the next year, board members could find themselves living in interesting times. The Oxford English Dictionary defines interesting as “having the qualities which rouse curiosity or engage attention,” which seems an apt characterization for 2024.

At present, the world continues to grapple with macro-level issues such as geopolitical risks and economic volatility. Advances in technology and other business processes continue to open the door to numerous new opportunities and risks. And because of these forces, to reiterate the point: Governance seems poised to become even more interesting.

 

Holistic governance through technology transformation

September 2023

In the age of artificial intelligence (AI) and similar innovations, the board’s governance of technology has garnered increasing levels of attention. But the rapid pace of advancement has brought a shifting set of new (and often unfamiliar) opportunities and risks.

This edition of On the board’s agenda features a conversation with Joanna Burkey, chief information security officer at HP Inc. and board member at Overstock.com/Bed Bath & Beyond, and Irfan Saif, Deloitte’s US chief information officer and member of Deloitte US Board of Directors and Deloitte Global Board of Directors, on how to govern holistically through transformative technological change.

The complex role of the board in setting executive compensation

July 2023

The complexity of setting pay may be magnified when it involves groups with varying and perhaps conflicting short-term and long-term interests. It may be difficult to find the balance between these varied stakeholders with different time frames. Ultimately, though, and regardless of the number and volume of other voices, decisions on this matter fall to the board and its compensation committee.

In conjunction with Deloitte’s Chief Executive Program, this edition of On the board’s agenda reviews recent developments in how boards set executive compensation, outlines challenges related to market volatility, and illustrates how variations across countries may impact compensation strategy.

The never-ending story: CEO succession planning

May 2023

The CEO is usually the most visible and prominent position within a company. The board’s role in CEO succession planning is a unique role and one of the highest-priority activities in which they engage. When things go well, an effective succession planning strategy can result in a CEO with transformative leadership potential who executes on the company’s long-term vision and adds value for shareholders and other stakeholders.

Board governance and strategy in a changing global economic landscape

April 2023

The recovery from the pandemic has been uneven at best, and it brought its own challenges—chief among them inflation. Board-level strategy around such issues often requires weighing a proverbial constellation of economic data. While cost cutting is often the “standard playbook” response in this area, there is value in weighing all the options available to promote economic resiliency. Periods of volatility are also an opportunity for boards to reaffirm their stewardship commitments. Such actions can pay dividends in social capital – a return on investment that, while not measured in dollars, can be just as valuable.

Rethinking how tech trends shape governance and oversight

February 2023

Deloitte’s 2023 Tech Trends report offers a navigational framework for boardroom conversations in this area and specifically suggests a holistic governance approach where leverage of technology is based on the business use case rather than its perceived novelty or innovativeness.

The 2023 board agenda

January 2023

In this edition of On the board's agenda, we discuss some of the critical topics like board composition, technology, workplace, climate, organizational strategy and risks, and finally the board itself, that have remained relatively constant in the past five years, as well as new and emerging topics that will likely be on the board’s agenda in 2023.

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