2018–2019 <br />NACD Public Company Governance Survey

NACD Public Company Governance Survey

Public Company Directors' 2019 Outlook

As in past years, the NACD Public Governance Survey report explores a wide variety of the topics that make their way onto board agendas. This report serves as a valuable resource for boards that are seeking affirmation that their governance practices are effective, fit for purpose, and clearly communicated to stakeholders. The trends and insights highlighted here can help boards assess priorities, explore emerging business themes, and evaluate the effectiveness of their oversight practices and governance approaches. Specifically, this year’s report offers detailed insights into

  • key business trends and critical board priorities;
  • how boards are performing as strategic assets to their organizations;
  • the pace and structure of annual board agendas;
  • the state of boards’ risk oversight, specifically cyber-risk oversight;
  • the role of the board in assessing corporate culture; and
  • major changes in how boards are engaging with major investors.

Access the Press Release

Key Findings

  • Amorphous economic and political changes will top director concerns for the next 12 months

    Boards report that changes in the regulatory climate, the prospect of an economic slowdown, growing cybersecurity threats, business model disruptions, and worsening geopolitical volatility are likely to impact their organizations in 2019. These often-interconnected risks have increased business uncertainty as management finds their likelihood difficult to anticipate and their impact difficult to mitigate.

    What five trends do you foresee having the greatest effect on your company over the next 12 months? Five trends could be selected by respondents from a list of 14. Bars represent the percentage of respondents selecting a trend. Only the top five trends are shown below.

    Five Trends SVG
  • AI (artificial intelligence) is seen as the biggest disruptor—and opportunity

    Directors rate artificial intelligence as the biggest technology disruptor but also regard it as the biggest business enabler likely to benefit their organizations.

    Which of the following are most likely to disrupt my organization?

  • Boards, and investors, are eyeing the long term

    A large majority of directors, 88 percent, agree that their board’s primary role is to guide the organization’s long-term strategic direction. To reinforce this board mandate, their use of nonfinancial metrics in designing CEO pay is growing. Further, more than half of boards now communicate directly with investors, with board oversight of long-term strategy the most frequent topic of investor dialogue.

    Issues discussed in meeting with institutional investors


Media Coverage

Corporate boards more confident about cyber oversight, survey says
Politico Pro

Threat of Economic Slowdown Worrying Half of Corporate Directors

Scandal-Wary Boards Seek Better Grasp of Corporate Culture
Bloomberg BNA

Report: Cybersecurity Remains a Top Company Threat for Directors

About NACD's Public Company Governance Survey

NACD annually surveys its membership community on key board governance practices and major business trends. We analyze our rich survey data to deliver insights on the state of board governance for public and private companies in a wide range of areas, including board structure, composition, recruitment, diversity, strategy, risk oversight, and shareholder engagement. We also offer custom benchmarking support for members who want to assess how their approach in specific governance areas compares to their peers. Click here to learn more about our board benchmarking services.