Board Savvy January 17, 2020

Salon Highlights: The Risk & Opportunity of the 10 Megatrends of Our Turbulent Times

By The Athena Alliance

How can board directors stay on top of these trends and what does this mean for decisions in the boardroom? Andrea Bonime-Blanc led Athena members on a discussion of the environmental, social, governance, and technology (what Andrea refers to as ESG+T) shaping the strategy of modern boardrooms. Andrea shared insights from her new book on the megatrends creating both great risk and opportunity for organizations of all sizes.

Read our key takeaways from the salon below. Members can view the full recording in the Resource Library.

  1. Modern leaders must consider ESGT issues to stay competitive and ensure the long-term sustainability of their organization. As Andrea described, the enlightened leader transforms ESGT into sustainable value. The responsible leader provides strong ESGT tone and resources. The superficial leader views ESGT as a marketing & PR tool. And the irresponsible leader is hostile to or ignorant about ESGT. We should all aim to be an enlightened leader to steward long-term value in our businesses.

  2. Risk is more complex than ever before. ESGT risks have a broad-reaching impact on every aspect of your organization (and its success.) Most problems can’t be solved by the Chief Risk Officer alone. Risks at this level are complex problems that must be addressed by the entire C-suite team.

  3. Global trust is on the decline, and its effects reach all the way to the boardroom. The Edelman Trust Barometer shows steadily declining trust over the past twelve years. Stakeholders expect leaders to take the lead on issues like equal pay, discrimination training, data privacy, sexual harassment, and more.

  4. Boards must focus on stakeholders, not just shareholders, to stay relevant in today’s market. Stakeholders include contributors, the media, fans, employees, and local government. Social media followers are important stakeholders as well. As Andrea explains, “We’re living in the age of social media, and social media reputational risks have become a real thing.”

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