Building a Better Boardroom

In the exclusive ‘old boys club’ of the not-too-distant past, boards sought a limited profile of directors: CEOs (virtually all white males) who could lend valuable operating knowledge, as well as marquee names from other sectors that added a luster to the board’s roster. While the invaluable operating experience of CEOs is still indispensable, boards increasingly recognise the need to add more targeted expertise that is often not typical in the heritage of a successful CEO. That might include, for example, cybersecurity, digital commerce, or social media – as well as other areas that specifically link to a company’s business strategy. At the same time, boards have aged and as veteran directors retire, age is becoming an area of diversity that is every bit as important as gender diversity or ethnic diversity. Identifying and integrating nontraditional directors into the board team can be a challenge, but also a significant opportunity to add much younger directors to address some of these more targeted areas of expertise that often don’t fit the traditional director profile of CEO.

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