Welcome to Boardroom Matters
Welcome to Boardroom Matters 2017, our annual publication for the Non-Executive Director community in Ireland.
It has been, and continues to be, a challenging business landscape, with many pressing issues impacting Non-Executive Directors over the last 12 months.
Economic and political uncertainty, the need for increased data security, the push for more diverse and inclusive boards, new business models and digital innovation are all topics of boardroom discussion.
Throughout this edition we provide insights and recommendations on tackling these complex issues, new regulatory requirements and changing obligations that impact leadership from different angles.
We also feature interviews with inspirational business leaders Ciara Clancy, Beats Medical, and Denise Cronin, Bord Na Móna.
We hope you find these insights informative.
Pat O’Neill, Partner Assurance
Aidan Tiernan, Financial Services Assurance
In this issue
Seizing the upsides of disruption and change – the creation of diverse leadership teams relentlessly committed to strategic innovation – delivers the most sustainable benefit to the bottom line.
Mike McKerr, Managing Partner, explains why organisations with a clear purpose and direction are better equipped to drive innovation and build people engagement.
The positive impact of having a D&I strategy is unequivocal. A work place to which people can bring their whole selves, and where they can achieve their full potential, is obviously the right thing. It’s also business smart.
Olivia McEvoy, EY Ireland’s Director of Diversity and Inclusion, tells us why, for D&I programmes to have a meaningful impact, Boards must take responsibility for their governance and remain committed to their objectives.
"I think I was about twelve when I decided I’d like to become an accountant. I was focused, I knew what I wanted to do."
Denise Cronin, Non-Executive Director at Bord na Móna, talks about her motivation, the challenges of a successful career that brought her from Cork to Australia and then Dublin, and the qualities needed to be an effective Non-Executive Director.
Boards and Directors need to bring themselves up to speed on sustainability because ignoring it could uncover serious business risks and significantly impact brand value.
Lorraine McCann, Senior Manager, Climate Change and Sustainability Services, explains why companies who take sustainability seriously are reaping the benefits of better compliance programmes, lower risk exposure and more effective communication with stakeholders.
Does your company take sustainability as a compliance risk seriously?
EY Ireland’s Chief Economist Neil Gibson reflects on uncertain economic times, the main challenges businesses face, and why innovation is so important. He emphasises the need for Non-Executive Directors to help retain business focus, and their role in ensuring firms look carefully at their values and wider responsibilities.
As the GDPR enforcement date looms and its potential impact is understood, business leaders must ask: are we compliant, and if not, how do we become compliant?
Considerable effort must now be made to determine where non-compliances exist and how they can be addressed, because non-compliance is simply not an option, warns Ivan O’Brien, Partner Advisory Services.
"At Beats Medical we’re all working for the people we treat. I don’t think any personal achievement is more powerful than that."
Ciara Clancy is Founder and CEO of Beats Medical which is dedicated to helping people with neurological conditions take control through technology.
She explains the value of choosing the right Executive team and getting answers from a collective think tank perspective – important considerations for this successful ‘twentysomething’ entrepreneur.
Emerging as part of a portfolio of technologies that are interacting in unpredictable ways and accelerating each other toward a critical mass, blockchain is among the key technologies poised to transform the way many organisations work, explains Natalia Maslova, Senior Manager, Advisory Services.
Take the five point test to see if blockchain is relevant for your business.