School may be out for the summer, but close board oversight of corporate operations most certainly is not. After helping management address the implications of the initial Covid-19 wave this spring, directors could be excused if they thought the virus-related heavy lifting was over. That they could throttle back a bit, and concentrate their oversight on business resilience, rather than on crisis management. But the sudden and dramatic surge in Covid-19 infections across the country, and its resulting impact on business, may have changed all that. Not quite the Fourth of July message that corporate directors were expecting.
Corporations have been taking a hard look at the diversity within their ranks, facing pressure from customers, their employees and shareholders. Goldman Sachs is starting a new policy Wednesday: It won’t help a company with its initial public offering unless the company’s board has at least one diverse member. Next year, it will require at least two.
COVID-19 has pressed associations to build boards with people who are flexible and eager to lead, and who bring new perspectives to the table. Diversity initiatives offer a path to get there.
The U.S. Navy’s final U.S.S. Theodore Roosevelt investigative report, which effectively ends Capt. Brett Crozier’s career, reflects an organizational culture that emphasizes the need for leaders to ‘get the job done, no matter what.’ It also underscores the significant personal price to be paid for calling attention to organizational problems outside the direct chain of command.
The number and aggressiveness of cyber threats have been steadily growing, particularly during the COVID-19 crisis. Prior to the pandemic, the World Economic Forum identified cyber attacks as the most concerning technological risk, and the last EY CEO Imperative Study revealed that cybersecurity is the No. 1 global concern for CEOs. Now, more than ever, private and public companies need to sharpen the focus on cybersecurity and address the potential for expanding threats due to the abrupt shift to a remote workforce.
Corporate boards, both private and public, need to address cyber threats and protect against attacks. Melissa Krasnow, VLP Law Group partner, discusses findings from two recent National Association of Corporate Directors surveys that can be useful to boards to benchmark their companies’ cyber-risk oversight practices.
The sweeping national conversation on social justice and systemic racism presents a crucial inflection point for business and its commitment to social responsibility.
Corporate boards forced to move meetings online during the coronavirus pandemic are trying to guard against cyberattacks with secure communication platforms and instructions for members on notetaking and eavesdropping.
Shifting work styles may raise concerns for boards, according to a National Association of Corporate Directors survey, but directors, overall, haven’t lost confidence in the organizations they serve.
As governance responsibilities dramatically evolve in response to today’s economic upheaval and social unrest, so too must the board’s approach to necessary turnover among its ranks. The adoption of a thoughtful “offboarding” strategy may allow the board to achieve its turnover goals in a less disruptive, but more accelerated manner than by traditional means. For the many reasons discussed here, it is critical for the board’s governance committee to take a closer look at what offboarding might achieve as a governance tool.