“Wow.” NACD Chair Dr. Reatha Clark King had a tough act to follow—a trio of rock violinists—but her welcoming remarks to the 2013 NACD Board Leadership Conference left attendees inspired and ready to engage in the next two days of sessions. Focusing largely on this year’s conference theme—Future-Proofing the Boardroom—Dr. King drew off her experience as a scientist, a profession based on “forecasting, innovation, change, and being first,” to urge directors to embrace both the opportunities and challenges of the future.
Noting the record attendance at this year’s conference, Dr. King observed “an impressive collaboration of strong-forward looking leaders.” Foreshadowing Monday’s official kickoff of NACD Directorship 2020™, however, she noted that we do not know what the future will bring–other than significant change. And since she believes that each of the attendees has “some” of the answers, in order for the country to move forward, King urged attendees to share their experiences and wisdom over the next few days. In doing so, directors can build a knowledge base of new ideas, trends, opportunities, and solutions that will aide in their efforts to not just meet, but actually embrace future challenges.
The most serious threat the boardroom faces, according to Dr. King, is a lack of imagination. It is necessary for directors to believe what they do creates value for shareholders and stakeholders. Further, every boardroom should draw from a diverse set of sources for information and ideas. As such, she encouraged attendees to not just listen, but participate and work together during this important conference. “Let us prime our boards now so we can meet the challenges of the future.”