A Corporate Board Member/Diligent Institute Research Report

WHAT DIRECTORS THINK

Navigating a Pivotal Year

ABOUT

Every fall, as part of our long-running What Directors Think franchise, Corporate Board Member surveys hundreds of public company board members on the topics that are top of the agenda in the boardroom for the year to come. For this 18th edition of the research, we partnered with Diligent Institute and asked 400 directors about the challenges and opportunities they see on the horizon as we kick off 2021.

KEY FINDINGS

Covid-19 and its impact on the economy tops corporate directors’ list of concerns as we head into 2021, followed closely by the political landscape.

Top Concerns Keeping Directors Up At Night

Economy & GDP
66%
Covid-19 Pandemic
64%
Political Landscape
50%

Three-quarters of directors are now focused on growth and recovering from the Covid-19 crisis, with an increasing interest in MA&D opportunities.

Top 3 Most Relevant Agenda Setters

Growth Strategy/Covid Recovery
74%
M&A Opportunities (and Divestitures)
48%
Capital Allocation
46%

Technological disruption is a high priority for directors in 2021, and 42% list it as most challenging to oversee.

Top 3 Issues Most Challenging To Oversee

New Technologies/Innovation
42%
Culture
40%
Cybersecurity
37%

When seeking out new members, diversity of skillsets and backgrounds and racial diversity are now the two most important attributes on their list.

Most Important Attributes For Selecting Next Board Member

Skillset/Background Diversity
68%
Racial Diversity
48%
Industry Expertise
46%
Gender Diversity
38%

Although directors say it’s now become an integral part of the overarching strategy, ESG discussions with shareholders were scarce in 2020.

Importance For The Board To Oversee Being A Good Corporate Citizen

0 %
Extremely Important
0 %
Very Important

DIRECTOR PERSPECTIVES

BOARD ACTION ITEMS

TECHNOLOGY

CURRENT
ENVIRONMENT

DIVERSITY

ESG