Ask a Director: How Are Corporate Boards Responding to the COVID-19 Crisis?

Ask a Director: How Are Corporate Boards Responding to the COVID-19 Crisis?

Recent corporate governance research has consistently noted that the global business environment is becoming more complex, dynamic, interconnected, impactful, and challenging every year — and corporate directorship has become more demanding as a result. But the development of the COVID-19 global pandemic casts everything in a new light. While the underlying pressures on corporate directors remain, this new and devastating crisis represents an unprecedented challenge for corporate governance.

At the same time, modern governance has evolved over the last few years: Corporate leaders have become more agile; directors leverage a variety of technologies, proactively seek data and insights, and have more nimble communication and collaboration practices; and governance and decision-making includes a broader and more diverse group of stakeholders. While a crisis of this scale is unprecedented, many corporate leaders found they were better prepared to respond than they might have realized. Many directors and executives have pivoted quickly to leading their companies remotely, to collaborating across distributed teams, to gathering intelligence through multiple channels, and to iterating rapidly on decisions as the situation continues to evolve.

Diligent Institute convened a virtual panel of experienced directors from different sectors, geographies, and operational experiences to share their insights on modern governance practices during the COVID-19 crisis. This report provides a compilation of the panel’s responses to a series of questions, along with suggestions for corporate boards based on their feedback.

The questions covered include:

  • How does corporate governance change in a crisis?
  • How should management teams and boards handle “regular updates” throughout the crisis?
  • What are the best practices for virtual board meetings?

To read directors responses to these questions and more, download the full report.