The National Association of Corporate Directors (NACD) counts nearly 17,000 directors and governance professionals among its members, and we’re proud to say that they are engaging in constant and committed learning in the spirit of doing the best for their companies.
We hear these questions over and over again from our directors: “What do my peers care about right now?” “What’s the next big issue for directors?” I think that you can tell a lot about what someone values by what they read, so it’s always fascinating to take a look at the reading trends of our membership. Their choices in 2016 reflect commitment to evergreen topics (director compensation, governance benchmarking, and finding a new board seat) and investment in understanding ever-evolving, of-the-moment risks and board-specific concerns (cybersecurity, ethics and compliance oversight, M&A, and strategy).
Below are the top 10 most-read NACD reports, surveys, and papers from 2016. If you haven’t picked up these resources yet, now is the time.
- 2015-2016 Director Compensation Report – NACD and compensation consultancy Pearl Meyer’s perennially popular survey on director pay helps boards benchmark their pay by analyzing how the subtleties of committee participation and the changing governance landscape impact pay structures.
- Executive Summary of the Report of the NACD Blue Ribbon Commission on Building the Strategic-Asset Board – We released in September our latest Blue Ribbon Commission Report, our marquee publication on next practices for boards. This complimentary executive summary gives a quick look at some of the key findings in the broader, member-exclusive report (see list item 8).
- Director FAQ: Finding Your Next Board Seat – It’s all in the title—this piece provides some action steps for success if you’re looking to land a new board seat.
- Executive Summary of the Director Essentials: Strengthening Oversight of M&A – Our off-the-charts popular Director Essentials series offers step-by-step guidance to new directors on key issues that they encounter in the boardroom. This executive summary of our piece on M&A oversight is open both to members and visiting guests to our website.
- Director Essentials: Strengthening Compliance and Ethics Oversight – This was the first Director Essentials report we released, and an especially timely one given the situations that emerged in 2016 at Volkswagen AG, Wells Fargo & Co., and others.
- Executive Summary of the 2016-2017 Public Company Governance Survey – NACD releases a survey yearly of public company directors, and this complimentary executive summary spotlights a few of the top-level findings, including the most pressing issues on directors’ minds for 2017.
- Cyber-Risk Oversight Handbook – According to our annual survey of public company directors (mentioned above), 29 percent of directors believe that cybersecurity expertise needs to be strengthened on their boards to conduct sound oversight. Our handbook has never been more relevant, and bonus: it has a stamp of approval from the Department of Homeland Security.
- Report of the NACD Blue Ribbon Commission on Building the Strategic-Asset Board – The world in which boards operate is facing unprecedented change. This year’s commission offered some best practices for succession planning, recruitment, and continuous improvement that will empower boards to meet that change head on.
- Director Essentials: Preparing the Board for Shareholder Activism – Year-round shareholder activism is the new norm. This guide aims to help directors prepare a response plan and evaluate their vulnerabilities to activist challenges.
- Governance Challenges 2016: M&A Oversight – There was a clear member focus on M&A this year, and this piece united the perspectives of several of our content partners to offer the most recent thinking on director oversight of that topic.
Looking for more publications to strengthen your board’s work this year? Visit our topic-specific board resource centers.