Boardroom Insight is Great, but What a Company Really Needs is Foresight
Boards are getting better—some by choice, and the rest by a push from multiple stakeholders. Investor pressure on corporate spending, greater concerns about consumer protection and marketplace risks, increased media coverage about boardroom "fails”—all of these and more have created a demand for better governance and oversight. And most boards have stepped up to this.
However, times are changing. For years after the start of the recession, we saw many boards "reaching down” into company operations to ensure that cost-cutting and compliance were prioritized. But with the recovery, while regulatory concerns still occupy much board discussion, effective boards are stepping back and devoting more and more time to strategy. We see directors looking more expansively at their role in bringing insight to management, especially as new threats emerge that require an "all hands on deck” approach to board guidance. Cybersecurity risks and global geopolitical issues that can put the emergency brake on company operations—such as a major data breach or a terrorist incident—demand that boards have the ability to think far outside normal operations for business to continue.