Social issues are among the most pressing for companies globally with the impact of the pandemic only serving to highlight their importance. However, the ‘S' of ESG (environmental, social and governance factors) can be more difficult for investors to define and quantify than the ‘E' and ‘G' factors. A lack of consistency and comparability in approaches risks impeding the drive towards more sustainable investments.
This report identifies key market trends and challenges that need to be addressed to deliver further progress. It makes recommendations for how public policy, companies and financial markets participants can drive more socially sustainable investment. At its core, the report recommends a global approach to social principles and standards.
Asking the following five questions will ensure that even non-digital directors are focused on the most important challenges:
- Does the board understand the implications of digital and technology well enough to provide valuable guidance?
- Is the digital transformation fundamentally changing how the business (and sector) creates value?
- How does the board know if the digital transformation is working?
- Does the board have a sufficiently expansive view of talent?
- Does the board have a clear view of emerging threats?
This extensive article explores each question in detail.
Management pays a lot of attention to new ideas and cutting-edge technologies, but most of their resources are consumed by mature legacy technologies that are often not actively and rigorously managed. The reasons are often cultural and political.
This article suggests applying a simple but powerful visualisation matrix: on the horizontal axis the team – a cross-functional group of business and R&D managers from different units – maps the maturity of their technologies over three phases (emerging, maturing, and mature) with the size of each bubble indicating the annual investment.
On the vertical axis, the team are asked to evaluate the differentiation potential, i.e., the strategic edge implicit in the technology, on a scale from one to five.
For many team members this will be the first time they see a comparative picture of the entire portfolio rather than the view of one isolated technology at a time. This helps to correct biases and misperceptions and sets the technologies into a broader strategic context.