Leading from the Boardroom
CS Antony Fernando
29 Jun 2021
“A decisive Board is cogitative, proactive and supportive” – by Pearl Zhu
Leading from the top through a period of rapid change is a daunting challenge for directors. Interestingly, with an experience to work closely with the stakeholders and take effective yet bold decisions to sustain the Company during crisis, directors and the senior management of companies have become more serious not only towards their fiduciary responsibilities but also towards the duty of extra care and loyalty.
Importance of setting the tone from the top has been well realized by Board and leading by example has now become one of the common practices that company Boards have started following. More focus on governance in addition to the compliance has brought all together a fresh perspective towards businesses and recently with the introduction of good governance models like ESG and BRSR by SEBI, a new though process has started to develop amongst Boards. However, despite making a lot of efforts, still there is a dearth of understanding amongst Indian Boards.
a. Express Support – Stakeholders in the Company do not need anything more than the support from leaders. Especially in tough times. Therefore, demonstrate support and belief in them, communicate with them on regular basis, address their grievances and concerns, take their viewpoints to the Boardroom and try to incorporate them wherever required.
b. Encourage Self Care – Make it acceptable to talk about sensitive topics like stress, mental health, harassment and more. As a leader if such topics are discussed about, a culture of voicing out concerns is created and the rate of job satisfaction automatically goes up.
c. Embrace Learning – Every organization has a way to learn from crisis. Lead the organization to become agile at learning and encourage stakeholders to regularly upgrade themselves.
d. Embed Change Orientation – Implementing change in the organization w.r.t. its culture, orientation, processes, procedures and more have always majorly reflected a good governance adherence of companies in front of stakeholders.
e. Take a long-term view - Once directors accept the need for more consideration of the long term, they can allocate their time more efficiently—meeting compliance standards but also buying back hours to go over future-focused concerns.
f. Lead discussions and make a strong viewpoint - the directors must step back from fighting fires and consider how management’s view of the future squares with their own broader, higher-altitude views. Any agreed-upon strategic plans should be reassessed regularly—not to fit management with a straitjacket but to help directors and senior executives understand whether factors have emerged that may require a shift in priorities or a move in another direction.
Role of (MentorMyBoard) MMB in helping directors lead from Boardrooms:
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Read Are you hesitant to speak in the Boardroom! at: Boardroom