CEOs are feeling the pressure.. CEOs, directors and boards are feeling like they are being held more accountable for environmental, social, and corporate governance (ESG) issues that are in the spotlight.pastedGraphic.png CEOs, directors and boards feel they will need to be more accountable and responsible in the years ahead, a major Governance Institute survey has revealed. The institute's Future of the board report is based on responses from 550 executives and non-executive directors. Accountability and responsibility is set to soar towards 2025, 92 per cent of the respondents believed. Sixty-six per cent of them agreed strongly with the idea. Environmental, social, and corporate governance (ESG) issues will also be in the spotlight, 89 per cent of respondents saying that boards will need to align their purpose with community values. 'This report shows that social licence to operate will be the number one ethical challenge for board directors in 2025,' said Pauline Vamos, the institute's chair. 'The ESG agenda is building, and boards need to ensure they are engaging, reporting - and acting on or adapting to - the non- financial risks that are and will impact their organisations.' Top challenges for boards in 2025 will be:
  • Internal - sustainability of business number one
  • External - climate change, fallout from COVID-19, economic instability, technology disruption, and cybersecurity risk
  • Top three skills required - expertise in strategy, leadership and management
skills, and technological know-how - Top three attributes required - strategic thinking, critical thinking, values and ethics - Key ethical challenges - social licence to operate, workplace conduct, and culture - To prevent corporate failure, focus will need to be on ethics and values, culture, and financial management - Top factor determining dynamic between boards and management - a culture of transparency, trust and respect between board and management, and
  • Major technological disruptors will be - cyber security and data privacy, understanding risk of new technology, governance, and compliance.
By Mark Delaurentis, Partner, Hall Chadwick (WA)