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Working with boards: Trends, challenges, and insights for success in 2024

Directors Australia Board Recruitment Specialist, Brad Booth shares his insights on trends, focus areas and advice for boards and their directors.

 

What key trends are you seeing in your work with boards at present?

The landscape for boards across all sectors is evolving rapidly and is reshaping board priorities. Significant developments in new and emerging areas of compliance and risk have put the spotlight on the ever increasing liability for directors and officers. These aren’t tick of the box items on a board agenda, they are serious considerations that all directors need to be acutely aware of. Failure to adequately consider and address the health, safety and well-being of workers has real personal implications for directors and officers. Climate, cyber and AI considerations also continue to be in the spotlight and have been driving greater stakeholder expectations of boards. Further, the activism from both internal and external stakeholders has, in some cases, forced boards to take action, highlighting the potential skill set gaps at board level. DE&I is no longer a trend but more of a base requirement for boards to look for directors from varied backgrounds in order to bring new and diverse perspectives to decision making.


What do you suggest boards should be focussing on?

Boards must ensure they are able to be respond quickly to deal with crisis like conditions and directors must be constantly reviewing their approach to fulfilling their director duties.  This means that boards of all sizes and from all sectors should be objectively reviewing their composition to ensure its aligned with the contemporary environment and strategy.  Boards should also be evaluating their performance, their composition, their governance structure, their relationship with management and encourage/facilitate the continued development of its directors. The emerging risks are too great for boards not to be taking an active role in reshaping their board for the challenges ahead. Recruiting the right board level talent that aligns with the needs is essential. It’s time to reset.

Do you have any other advice for boards or their directors?

It’s always good practice for directors to reflect on the key role they play in an organisation and the importance of the role. Don’t lose sight of some key rules to fulfilling your duties – be honest and ethical, be diligent and act in the organisation’s interest to the exclusion of personal interest.  This means you need to understand the environment you work in as well as the evolving issues in order to be able to ask questions constructively and courageously at board level.

 

Directors Australia provides board and governance advisory and specialist recruitment services to a wide range of boards across Australia.   

Contact us here to discuss how we can help.

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