Looking ahead, differently

How can boards have meaningful conversations about the future? September used to be quite a predictable month.  Students went back to school, holiday memories faded and we entered into planning mode to take us smoothly through year end.  But this year is different. Very little is certain just now and we have had to challenge the “normal” way of doing…

Looking ahead: Board checklist

This is undoubtedly a busy and trying time for boards. In such times it can be hard to take a step back and reflect before moving to action. But real change happens where we question the things we always took for granted. We suggest the Chairman, Senior Independent Director (SID) and Company Secretary use this checklist to help structure conversations…

Virtual decision-making: Board checklist

The COVID-19 crisis means virtual meetings are here to stay, at least for the moment. We suggest the Chairman, Senior Independent Director (SID) and Company Secretary use this checklist to take stock of whether decision-making might have been impaired in the move to virtual board meetings, and if necessary what could be done to reset dynamics. Read our latest bulletin…

Decision-making in a virtual world

It's not just a question of technology Many boards will be pleasantly surprised at how they’ve mastered virtual meetings, the odd hiccup notwithstanding.  But, having cleared the initial hurdles, the new challenge, for everyone from Board Chairs and directors to regulators and investors, is maintaining effectiveness in this new environment.  As we conduct our board evaluations, we are looking increasingly…

Risk Management & Control: Board checklist

The COVID-19 crisis means Boards and Audit Committees need to look with a new lens at the risks and how risk management and internal control are working.    Here’s a practical checklist of the questions for Boards to ask and steps to take. Read our latest bulletin for further guidance: Rethink and reshape the way you work

What boards need to be asking about risk and control in the world of Covid-19

To use a phrase that is already in danger of becoming overworked, under the “new normal” the control environment will be different.  Boards – especially audit (and risk) committees – face new demands and hazards as they make sure that effective risk management and controls remain in place.  The control environment might have been satisfactorily solid before, but that was…

Governance of regulated subsidiaries: a checklist for boards

The Board of a regulated subsidiary has always been a tricky place to be.  Directors need to balance group demands with local legal and regulatory requirements and requests, and often through the lens of a complex matrix where accountabilities are less than clear. The COVID-19 crisis is likely to be putting your subsidiary governance to the test. The critical implications…

Virtual Meetings: preparing agendas and papers checklist

Different agenda structures and different board packs are needed for virtual board meetings.  Just trying to do things in the same way does not work.  Here are two practical checklists of questions around agendas and papers to help Company Secretaries work with the Chair and Management to make sure virtual meetings go well.   And they set out good practice…

Rethink and reshape the way you work

Being a good Board isn’t just about what you do, but also about how you do it.  And trying to carry on as you did before the crisis isn’t going to work.  We’re not talking only about the virtual board meetings that are now normal and will remain so for at least a good few months yet.  It goes much further…

Working from Home: Cyber risk questions boards need to ask

Thanks to COVID-19, boards have many new challenges and risks to tackle right now.  Unfortunately, one of their main pre-crisis worries has just shot up the stress scale.  Even before the crisis, it was hard for boards to know how best to deal with cyber risk.  Now, with many people working from home, the risks are likely to have increased,…