Deloitte and the Society for Corporate Governance publish periodic reports on board practices. The latest edition focuses on cyber-security and cyber risk.
The survey explores how companies’ boards oversee cybersecurity and cyber risk - including matters relating to board composition and structure, management’s reporting to the board, board information sources, and shareholder engagement - as well as voluntary corporate disclosure practices.
A new study indicates that the supposed trade-off between better corporate governance and more competitive product markets may not exist.
The analysis challenges the validity of the assumption in economics and finance that the objectives and competitive behaviour of firms are independent of their shareholders’ interests.
This report highlights the dangers of business leaders having blind spots and puts forward a convincing case for businesses to get on the front foot with emerging trends and issues. The main report findings are as follows:
- Prior to COVID-19, many boards and executive committees failed to ‘engage with the unfamiliar’. 18% did not look ahead to the medium or long term; 58% did not look out for potential blind spots.
- These boards are now more likely to be on the back foot – overwhelmed with the volume of issues to cover and less likely to believe they are prioritising effectively.
- Since COVID, many of these same organisations appear to have fundamentally changed their behaviour, engaging with their future selves and blind spots more proactively and not just in response to emergencies. The question is, will this change be lasting?
- Boards and executive committees that engaged with ‘unfamiliar’ issues before COVID and were prepared to flex their agenda accordingly, were also more likely to engage with people outside of their bubble. They were more likely to seek input from staff at all levels, reach out to external experts and to value diverse lived experiences.
- The results of this study suggest that engaging with people outside of their bubble can help boards and executive committees to prioritise issues more effectively and stay on the front foot.