The Evolution of the Boardroom

You’ve most certainly already read about, or perhaps engaged in discussions around, the recent release of The Commonsense Principles of Corporate Governance. To some, the name alone demeans the intention; though to others, it provide a foundation from which companies can build better corporate governance practices. To us, it further highlights the necessary evolution of the boardroom.

While gradual, progress has been made to improve the diversity—gender, age and skills—of today’s boards. Nonetheless, as the digital transformation permeates the business world, somehow the boardroom is still lagging behind. McKinsey’s recent article reiterates the combined need for digital prowess and strong governance, stating that boards “need faster, more effective ways to engage the organization and operate as a governing body.”

Some boards are hiring digital experts, others are recruiting directors with experience in big data, cybersecurity, and even e-commerce. Others involve board members in testing new digital products or services, or task them with overseeing digital initiatives at the functional level. High-performing boards are also leveraging technology inside the boardroom, not only to facilitate board meetings and share documents, but to assess financial performance, governance trends, and market intelligence in real time. Particularly as investors, and even consumers, demand innovation, transparency, and accountability, directors “must view themselves as the ultimate catalysts for digital transformation efforts.”

How is your company, and your board, evolving to address these challenges?