Tag Archive: NACD member

Ken Daly’s 2015 Letter to NACD Membership

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Dear NACD Members,

As I look ahead to the challenges that boards will face in 2015, I am more confident than ever in NACD’s mission to help directors navigate an increasingly complex environment. Our programs and resources remain focused on helping directors improve their performance as strategic assets for their organizations. We achieve this primarily by providing the foresight to anticipate emerging issues, thereby enhancing stakeholder confidence in the board’s ability to provide effective leadership.

I’d like to briefly share with you the three critical issues that NACD will focus on this year.

1. Cybersecurity. It will surprise no one that cyber-risk oversight has become a top agenda item for boards. NACD’s latest survey found that the majority of directors are dissatisfied with the cybersecurity information they are getting from management. How well does your board understand the company’s cyber risk practices? Does your board have an established response plan in the event of a cyber-breach? These are the issues that NACD will continue to help directors resolve throughout 2015.

Suggested NACD Resources:
– Director’s Handbook on Cyber-Risk Oversight
– NACD Advisory Council on Risk Oversight: Cybersecurity Oversight and Breach Response

2. Board-Shareholder Communications There’s no question that shareholders will continue to influence boardroom agendas in 2015. In our most recent meeting with major institutional investors, we asked the participants to list their priorities for board focus in 2015. The three areas identified were: (1) focusing on “drivers” of effective board leadership, (2) holding directors accountable when investors believe shareholder rights have been undermined, and (3) ensuring communication between boards and investors are about context, not volume. We will continue to meet with both institutional investors and activist shareholders throughout the year and will share their perspectives with you.

Suggested NACD Resources:
– Investor Perspectives: Critical Issues for Board Focus in 2015
– NACD Blue Ribbon Commission Report on Board-Shareholder Communications

3. Strategy. You may be wondering why strategy is on this list. Isn’t oversight of the organization’s strategy an inherent responsibility of the board?  The answer is still yes. However, in an increasingly dynamic climate, boards can no longer afford to take an annual “review and concur” approach to management’s strategy. Our 2014 Blue Ribbon Commission Report strongly recommends continuous board engagement with management in the strategy development, and course correction, process. Our members’ reaction to this new – and potentially radical – approach has been very positive, and we will continue to provide guidance on this topic in 2015.

Suggested NACD Resources:
– NACD Blue Ribbon Commission on Strategy Development
– The Board’s Role in Strategy: Interview with General Mills Director

Two final notes. Our NACD Directorship 2020 initiative, which puts a spotlight on the market disruptors that will impact companies in the years to come, continues to be very popular. We will hold three member-exclusive events again in 2015. Please be sure to register early as the sessions tend to sell out.

We are holding our inaugural NACD Strategy and Risk Forum in San Diego on May 12-13. The forum will include a full day dedicated to cybersecurity, with former Department of Homeland Security Secretary Tom Ridge as a featured speaker. Click here to learn more about this exciting new program.

Thank you for your membership. I wish you a successful year ahead and encourage you to continue to work with your dedicated NACD Concierge to identify the educational programs and topical resources to enhance your board leadership.

Ken Daly
Chief Executive Officer
National Association of Corporate Directors
Advancing Exemplary Board LeadershipTM

U.S. Demographics, Hispanic Outreach, Board Service—and You

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 Our host was Mike Gonzalez and Sylvia Garcia, director of Hispanic Outreach for Newt Gingrich, was one of the attendees. I met Juan and Romanita, Gustavo and Hector, Octavio and Ana Maria, and at least three men named Manny. Jeb Bush, Jr. introduced his new wife, Sandra Algudady. The occasion was a dinner at the Heritage Foundation to celebrate the launch of Libertad, the conservative think tank’s brand new Spanish-language website.

You can read here why Heritage believes it is important to offer Hispanic audiences the opportunity to explore conservative thinking in Spanish, but the takeaways from an evening of lively discussion resonate far beyond those who would like to see not only a Republican president in the White House, but someone with at least as much affinity and respect for Latinos as presidents “41” and “43,” both of whom were lauded by the group of 30 conservative thought leaders from the world’s of business, journalism, advocacy, policy and politics.

I was at the dinner at the thoughtful invitation of NACD member Pablo Schneider, who, as a contributing editor of Latino Leaders magazine, involved NACD in producing a board edition of the publication earlier this year. The magazine is produced in English, which is good because the Irish (that’s me) may be great talkers, but we are certainly not great linguists. Latino Leaders encourages Hispanic executives to consider board service, making sure that American businesses have access to directors who will match their customers of the future.

Already, U.S. Hispanics are the country’s largest minority and have $1 trillion in purchasing power. By 2050 they are likely to be 30 percent of the U.S. population.

 Pablo and fellow NACD member Charlie Garcia, a director of Winn-Dixie and a great contributor to American society through his military and public service, will be among the directors facilitating discussions at next week’s NACD Director Professionalism®—The Master Class in Tampa, FL. They’ll be helping committee chairs and lead directors consider their own board composition and the skills and experience they may wish to consider accessing as they prepare for the future.

 Here at NACD we are practicing our language skills. The session is titled Su Mesa Directiva, Su Empresa, Y Los Mercados Hispanos, but old-school Anglophones need not worry; the discussion will be in English.

Charlie Garcia (front right) with Jeb and George Bush, 2006. Reproduced with Mr Garcia's permission