How Corporate Boards Are Navigating the Deluge of Risks and Whirlwind of Forces

Corporate Boards

The board is responsible for overseeing a company and ensuring that it is operating legally and in the best interests of its shareholders and other stakeholders. It also functions independently from the management of the company as well as its day-to-day activities.

In the past 10 years, boards have shaken off their image as a group of powerful insiders operating solely for profit and are reluctant to sack CEOs. Instead, they’ve evolved into advisory teams, essentially coach-players who have to deal with multiple pressures, from traditional expectations, like increasing revenues and developing strong succession plans for leadership to more modern ones such as reducing the company’s carbon footprint and boosting social equity.

How do the top board members of today navigating the avalanche of risks and the whirlwind forces shaping the future of our economy? To answer this question, Fortune surveyed board members and examined information from a variety of companies. We couldn’t find an entire board representative of the modern-day model The most successful boards shared several key traits.

Diverse board members.

The COVID-19 outbreak taught boards that it’s ever more important to have a wide range of perspectives and backgrounds in the boardroom, to help guide strategy and weather crises. The most effective boards have a culture that is openness and trust, and strive to keep their knowledge current through continuous learning and training, directors said.

Most active boards are more hands-on and give less responsibilities to committees. This helps to maintain the necessary separation between the board’s responsibilities and the management role. They also aim to increase their financial literacy and be more aware of the technology they employ, the latest in cyber security, as well as other issues that businesses are facing in the present.

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