The Future of Corporate Governance: Emerging Trends and Predictions

The success of businesses today often hinges on input from a high-performing corporate board of directors. Corporations face an endless stream of uncertainty from political unrest, shifting priorities, technological developments, changing business operations, and large-scale global events. Input from a team of experts is critical to help position your business for success.

It’s no longer good enough to have a five-year plan for your business. As our world expands, CEOs have to think about the way they’ll do business ten, twenty, and thirty years from now—and that’s where the future of corporate governance is headed.

The Changing Role of Corporate Boards

Today’s corporate boards have changing responsibilities amid current business trends. Board members are increasingly being asked to take on more than their traditional responsibilities of corporate governance, financial oversight, and judiciary standards. They are still responsible to maintain accountability for the business, CEO, and other C-suite executives, but they also must consider factors and topics unique to today’s world. Anything that may impact business operations or require a public response is fair game for your corporate board to address. The world is so much more connected today, so the board is responsible for expanding topics.

Topics for Your Board to Consider

As the responsibilities of corporate boards expand and evolve, board leaders and CEOs should monitor and plan for the following trends:

The role of artificial intelligence (AI): As AI continues to evolve, companies and corporate boards must develop their strategy. What’s acceptable, what’s ethical, and what’s possible? The thing to remember is that AI is a tool; it’s not meant to be the be-all and end-all. Every company has to examine how they can use AI to increase efficiencies.

Changing world demographics: The world population is declining. This year in the U.S., an average of 11,000 Americans per day are expected to celebrate their 65th birthday. While that doesn’t mean they’re retiring now, they will eventually. Changing world demographics means changing workforces. What are the demographics of your workforce, and how might they impact your business?

Political turbulence and government affairs: Businesses have to deal with constantly changing political environments and, quite honestly, the unrest that often follows. That means developing a strategy to adjust business operations and craft a public response—both to your customers and your stakeholders when necessary.

Shifts in the supply chain: Especially if yours is a global company, your board must monitor changes in the supply chain. We can expect a significant shift in manufacturing returning to the Americas in light of less dependency on China and other countries and complications with shipping lanes. What could that mean for your inventory and supplies?

Tips for Leaders

Scenario planning is a critical piece of the future of corporate governance. Corporate boards and business leaders have to prepare their organization to adjust and adapt business operations in response to crisis and success. Looking beyond the traditional five years to think about your business decades down the road is going to be absolutely imperative.

Board leaders and business executives should be prepared to respond on behalf of their organization when certain global events occur as well. Keep a pulse on political developments and other world events. Be aware of what’s going on but be cautious in how you participate. It’s important to remember you don’t have to be an active participant, but you do have to be prepared. It’s easier than ever to alienate a significant portion of your customers by speaking out or not speaking out. You can rely on your corporate board to help your company stick to its core values and mission.

More than ever, it’s crucial to carefully select the people you have on your team and on your corporate board. You want to surround yourself with people who have strong critical thinking skills. Those skills will be more important than the ability to execute in the future. It’s a bold statement, but it is true—the ability to think rather than just do is going to be more important than ever.

The Future of Your Corporate Board

CEOs and executives are responsible to empower their corporate board of directors. By setting a future-oriented agenda and expanding your board’s oversight to encompass topics that matter, you’ll set up your board—and your organization—for long-term success.

Questions to Consider

  1. Is your board focused on the right areas and looking far enough ahead?
  2. Have you analyzed how the current state of political affairs may affect your visible business?
  3. Do you have the right people around you?

If you want to learn more, contact me. Whether you’re an entrepreneur, a CEO, or part of a leadership team, my tailored leadership coaching can help you grow both personally and professionally. I’d love to help you continue your leadership journey.