Governance Matters Podcast: Preparing for the Governance Path Ahead

One of the main responsibilities and challenges that boards of directors face is monitoring ESG-related risks and opportunities. Their success or otherwise is coming under increasing scrutiny from investors and other key stakeholders.

Studies have revealed among the director population a general shortage of the skills and experiences that will be needed to help their organization through a period that, for many, may require fundamental change. These findings have raised concerns in some corners of the governance world.

But Helle Bank Jorgensen, CEO and founder of Competent Boards, says the situation is changing rapidly. In the latest episode of the Governance Matters podcast, Jorgensen talks to host Jeff Cossette about the rapidly changing roles and approaches of boards of directors when it comes to answering the big questions facing their companies. There are many requests from boards to learn how to navigate the road ahead, says the author of Stewards of the future: A guide for competent boardsbecause people like her help prepare directors to be ESG competent.

It wasn’t that long ago that most board meetings didn’t include discussion of ESG issues, notes Jorgensen. Now they talk about a series of fundamental questions.

“One of the things I see is board members saying, Ok, let’s learn something about the climate. Ok, now let’s learn something about diversity, equity and inclusion. Let’s learn something about cyber,’ she says. “You have to have this integrated mindset where you see all these different aspects and you are able to deal with all these dilemmas. There are many more dilemmas today than three years ago, than two months ago.

“What I hope we do…is train directors, corporate secretaries and executives to navigate this difficult place and say, How do you make decisions that are not only good in the short or long term, but in the short and long term? How do we think [about] how to be resilient in a constantly changing world?

The Governance Matters podcast offers listeners insight into hot issues for corporate secretaries, general counsels and other governance professionals.

The series examines how the role of the corporate secretary and the board has evolved over time, as well as how the landscape of governance continues to change. From ESG to entity management, shareholder engagement to technology, hear from award-winning governance professionals and leading advisors on the latest public company governance issues.

Click here to listen and subscribe on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, embroiderer and sound cloud.

Helen D. Jessen