High-functioning Boards are successfully running the extra mile. They are representative and diverse, not only in terms of demographic statistics, but also in terms of characteristics (diversity of ‘thought’).
Their Independent Directors are integrated in a way that has risen beyond statutory norms to new levels of advisory excellence. They are not only fit for today, but justifiably confident in their succession for tomorrow. Their Nominations Committees have widened their scope: from preserving a traditional inner circle of familiar candidates, to acting as an expert and objective human capital interface. One that also has a firm grip on technology and innovation.
Yet the reality for most Boards is different.
As organizations reconfigure for growth and globalization, many are facing serious governance questions for the first time. Their task is complicated by regulatory developments whose pace and form differs by geography, ownership type, listed status and, in some countries, sector. Further dilemmas surround the transfer of leadership from family or founding members to external professionals, or structural tensions pitching centralization versus decentralization.
Yet, despite unevenness, the underlying trend in global governance legislation is ticking up towards new and better standards, as national regulatory bodies look to the global picture for learning and synchronicity.
As such, the transformative opportunities for Boards have never been greater. All the more so, if they benefit from robust external advisorship.