Egon Zehnder’s Istanbul office recently convened a group of Turkey-based HR leaders from various sectors for a series of breakfast discussions focused on the importance of team building. Accompanied by the Office Leader Murat Yesildere’s presentation on “Building Highly Effective Leadership Teams”, the participants were very forthcoming creating an open dialogue where they shared their experiences and perspectives on team effectiveness.
The days when the main function of Audit Committees was to put a “stamp of approval” on companies’ financials are long gone. Heightened risk awareness and increased regulation means that Audit Committees must now take on a much more proactive role in detecting, understanding and acting on risk – be it financial, macroeconomic, regulatory, legal or cybersecurity-related.
In today’s environment, boards are expected to fulfillll their traditional oversight and compliance role and also add value through strategic insight and guidance.
Board members today must grapple with increasingly complex matters of strategy and risk. In response, many companies are rethinking board meetings to enhance alignment, energize the board and elevate its performance.
An impending market rebound has many feeling cautiously optimistic, but the extended cycle of the current downturn – now being characterized as “lower for longer” – has created a new reality that will change leadership imperatives for the foreseeable future. Energy leaders are realizing that lower prices, unpredictable market dynamics and hyper competition for talent, resources and capital are driving a need to rebuild and adapt businesses or risk being left behind. In this new reality, it’s critical to strike a balance between disruption and discipline – understanding how to best lead innovation while still adhering to longstanding best practices that will ensure longevity regardless of future market fluctuations.
There is no period in a company’s history more fraught with anxiety than the months leading up to the naming of a new CEO. Often, the board is eyeing the clock while trying to nudge the CEO into a graceful exit.
In 2003, the New York Stock Exchange began to require the boards of listed companies to undergo an annual assessment. At a time when awareness was growing regarding the importance of the board in safeguarding shareholder value, it was thought that this step would provide investors with some transparency regarding how well the board was doing its job.
Karl Alleman discusses how during the Great Depression, when most consumer goods companies were dramatically cutting back on marketing, Coca-Cola Chairman Robert Woodruff boldly increased promotional spending to better position the brand and grow the business.
In the last decade, the oversight responsibilities of the board have taken on a new level of complexity. Disruptive business models can come from any direction, and the types of risks the board must monitor have multiplied.
Most CEOs and boards name succession, both for the CEO and for business unit leaders, as their biggest strategic challenge. While this leadership challenge exists for every industry, it is particularly acute in the consumer sector, where many of the successive waves of disruption first hit.