- Gather new perspectives by asking the right questions of stakeholders. This helps create a robust dialogue around risk, opportunities, and impacts on long-term purpose, which enables more informed decision-making.
- Revitalize board dynamics. Diversity and ongoing self-reflection, along with openness to varied input, reinvention and adaptation, builds a stronger, more effective board.
- Increase focus on the long-term. While current circumstances have many boards centered on short-term survival, flexible longer term strategies based on technologies, trends, new intelligence and industry developments and putting their people first should also be clearly articulated.
- Adapt communication, protect reputation. To maintain stakeholder trust, boards need to align purpose with action. Communication must be timely and division of roles for external communication clearly understood.
- Align and monitor culture. It is important that boards have a clear vision of the corporate culture, align it with long-term strategies, and monitor the culture using new metrics to view issues from every angle.
- Enhance risk and compliance oversight. Taking a pragmatic approach enables boards to gather external insights, deploy monitoring mechanisms, and think more broadly about emerging risks and how to address them.
Through research, we have determined that the profile of a future-fit private board is one that is diverse, outward-looking, transparent, and responsive. It is one that views human capital and culture as a value driver, as well as takes an expanded view of risk. An effective board will continually evolve with an eye on all of these qualities so it can identify opportunities, manage threats, and optimize business performance.
“Underpinning all of this, future-fit boards have a clear conception of purpose,” says Sharon Sutherland, EY Global Center for Board Matters Leader. “As new value sources are discovered, a clear sense of purpose can provide a path through uncertainty by strengthening focus and vision, building trust and enabling agility to innovate in times of transition.”
Read Sutherland’s article, Setting the pace or keeping up – is your board future-fit? for deeper insights and actions boards can take in these six areas to foster resilience for the future.