2 minute read 12 Mar 2019
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Five challenges boards will face in 2019


EY Americas

Multidisciplinary professional services organization

2 minute read 12 Mar 2019

In this webcast, leaders in the field detail where board priorities should lie in the coming year.

In today’s world of unrelenting disruption and innovation, a company’s board plays a more active role than ever before in overseeing strategy, risk management and corporate culture amid various megatrends shaping the business environment, including digital and emerging technologies, industry convergence and workforce transformation, shifting consumer attitudes, increased climate risk, diminishing trust in organizations, political polarization and rising income inequality.

Listen to insightful perspectives on the five priorities the EY Center for Board Matters has identified to help boards navigate the challenges ahead. Our panel includes:

  • George Anderson, Partner and Leader of Board Effectiveness Services, Spencer Stuart
  • Glenn Booraem, Investment Stewardship Officer and Principal, Vanguard
  • Joe Dettman, EY People Advisory Services Principal
  • Kris Pederson, EY Advisory Services Principal

Better questions for boards webcast series

Key priorities for boards in 2019

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Companies need to focus on delivering near-term results while at the same time pursuing and investing in innovation that supports long-term opportunity and sustainability.
Steve Klemash
Leader, EY Americas Center for Board Matters
disclosures be enhanced better demonstrate company commitment multiple stakeholders

Through questions and feedback submitted, the webcast audience affirmed the challenges they face in embracing the duality of strategy as well as finding the right “balance” or approach to make certain that the level of time and discussion around strategy and corporate culture meets the company’s current and evolving needs. We heard from directors that they seek to give management better guidance and feedback on strategy developments and critical investments (particularly those that foster innovation), as well as gain a better understanding of the board’s role in overseeing culture with the appropriate metrics.

Key takeaways 

As boards navigate 2019 they should consider the following five priorities:

  1. Embrace the duality of strategy.
  2. Accelerate the talent agenda and activate culture as a strategic asset.
  3. Transform the governance of risk management.
  4. Strengthen communication and engagement with stakeholders.
  5. Continue to enhance board performance.


As boards play an increasingly large role in their company’s success, they must prepare to adapt to the challenges coming in the year ahead, including shifting consumer attitudes and changing technology.