Archive for the ‘The Digital Director’ Category

Taming Disruption

September 22nd, 2015 | By

Warner Judy_crooked pearlsIf there is a single common denominator to many of the stories in this issue of NACD Directorship it is reason. And in matters pertaining to business disruptors, maintaining calm, cool objectivity is no easy task. Any discussion of this subject oftentimes elicits an emotional response. Disruption is typically considered a negative force, prompting apprehension and, sometimes, outright fear.

Learning how to tame disruption is an underlying theme in our interview with The Vanguard Group’s F. William McNabb III, contributing author Raymond V. Gilmartin’s trenchant article on how to anticipate disruption and become a disruptive innovator, and a review of Vaporized, a new book postulating that any physical product or service which can be digitized will be. Fear not: all of these stories deliver the reassurance that there are proactive ways for corporate officers and directors to look at the known and unknown unknowns and, at the very least, make them seem more predictable.

Take shareholder activism, which is a potentially disruptive force in any boardroom. Statistics tell part of how this story is playing out: The number of activist campaigns has increased 60 percent since 2010, according to Factiva, and activist funds control northward of $130 billion in assets, per Hedge Fund Research. Not so long ago, passive index investors like Vanguard depended largely on the proxy advisers to inform their voting, but that too has changed.

Corporate attorney Martin Lipton recently described a “new governance paradigm” by which major investors like BlackRock and Vanguard take their activism in-house, making our interview with McNabb ever more timely. “It is not likely that activism and short-termism will totally disappear,” Lipton wrote in a client memo in June and reiterated in a speech at the World Economic Forum in August, “but I’m comfortable that the influence of major investors will be more favorable to shareholders generally and to the nation’s economy and society, than the self-seeking personal greed of hedge fund activists.”

Today, Vanguard owns at least 1 percent of every publicly traded company in the Fortune 1000. What it desires is nothing less than long-term success for those companies. And, what could be more reasonable than that?

This blog was originally posted as an Editor’s Note in the September/October 2015 issue of NACD Directorship magazine.

New Technology and the Director Experience

August 24th, 2015 | By

Over the past decade, I’ve found that few factors have influenced the evolution of the board’s role more than new technology. From drones to 3-D printing to the latest cybersecurity tools, the transformative force of technological innovation is reshaping the competitive landscape and redefining best practices for corporate boards.

As I often discuss with our members, this shift presents both opportunity and risk, leaving many of us wondering how to best forecast—or “futurecast”—potential disruptors and achieve desired outcomes.

A great place to learn more about state-of-the-art technologies and how they’ll affect you is the 2015 Global Board Leaders’ Summit from September 26–29 in Washington, DC, where directors, innovators, and leading governance experts will gather under one roof to discuss this shifting corporate terrain and how to effectively navigate it.

For the first time ever, NACD’s largest annual gathering will feature “Innovation Nation”—a hands-on, interactive exhibit displaying the most buzz worthy cutting-edge technologies. Think drones, 3-D printing, Google Goggles, and more.

In addition to “Innovation Nation,” our summit agenda is packed with change-the-world-and-business-as-we-know-it sessions. Here’s just a sampling:

The big ideas and technologies of tomorrow are already changing the way we live and do business, but how we work together to transform those ideas and advances into high-value assets that will create a successful, sustainable future is what’s important.

And that’s our goal at this year’s annual summit.  I hope you can join us.

Cyber-Risk Oversight Toolkit

August 19th, 2015 | By

Cyber Risk blog image

NACD’s 2014–2015 Public Company Governance Survey revealed that only 10.5% of survey respondents believe their boards have a high level of understanding of the risks associated with inadequate cybersecurity.

To help directors enhance their oversight of cyber risk, we’ve bundled our most recent guidance on cyber issues into this NACD Cyber-Risk Oversight Toolkit, a one-stop shop for boards.

Cyber-Risk Oversight Handbook
Emerging Trends in Cyber-Risk Oversight
Cyber-Risk Oversight – Three Questions for Boards

Assessing the Board’s Cybersecurity Culture
Building a Relationship with the CISO

NACD BoardVision Videos
Tools to Navigate Today’s Volatile Business Environment
Cybersecurity Is Not Just an IT Issue—It’s a Business Issue

In-Boardroom Cyber Program
World-Class Boards Prepare to Oversee Cyber Risk

Hear the latest intelligence on cyber risk from world-class experts—including Al Grasso, CEO of The MITRE Corp.; Theresa Payton, former White House CIO; and Kim Stevenson, CIO of Intel—at NACD’s upcoming Global Board Leaders’ Summit.

For more insights on other issues currently facing boards, visit NACD’s Board Leaders’ Briefing Center.