‘Strategic Oversight In A Changing World’

November 6, 2020

Boards must continue to face up to the issues of diversity, put in place actions to change culture, and have the courage to make bold moves, according to speakers at the recent Institute of Directors Bermuda Branch virtual conference.

More than 150 delegates registered for the Institute of Directors Bermuda branch virtual conference ‘Strategic Oversight in a Changing World’ and heard from top speakers including David Batstone, the Co-founder & Senior Managing Partner of Just Business, Co-founder and Director of REBBL and Co-founder and President of Not For Sale, Gina Pereira.

Sara Schroter & Michelle Cardwell Bermuda Nov 2020

Sara Schroter, the event’s co-chair, said there were many valuable points made by the speakers, adding: “It was clearly felt that it is very important to ensure that a Board continues to keep its long-term purpose front of mind.

“Also, corporate governance is not just about bureaucracy and compliance. If you don’t have prudent governance, you start to increase risk to your shareholders and stakeholders. It’s all basically about risk management.”

She said other key take-outs included: spending time considering how to make organizations more resilient to unknowns; continuing to be good corporate citizens and not using a crisis to push through undesirable or unethical changes; facing up to the issues of board diversity and putting in place actions to change the culture.

Ms Schroter also sent sincere thanks to the sponsors of the conference: Washington Properties, The Business Development Agency Bermuda, Deloitte, and Meritus Trust Company. “All of our sponsors truly believe in the importance of good corporate governance and that encouraging best practices in Bermuda will have a positive impact on the success of our businesses and of our jurisdiction.”

Conference co-chair Michelle Cardwell said some key messages came from the Innovation and Resilience panel such as building out processes that will allow fast mobilization, flexibility, and the ability to pivot; keeping a pulse on the welfare of the team and the state of the organization through regular check-ins, and remembering that resilience encompasses not just financial resilience but also operational, organizational, reputational, and business model resilience.

She added: “It is really important to realize that the nature of work and the workforce is changing, and the majority of Businesses will not be looking back to pre-COVID times.

“Directors need to ensure that management is planning appropriately for this new norm – maintaining the good things from the company’s culture, adapting performance management and workforce planning, keeping people motivated when working from home, and considering the wellness and welfare of the team.”

IoD Bermuda Chairwoman, Rochelle Simons said she was delighted at the impact of the event and added: “Our appointments as directors are, or should be, demonstrating to management, other directors and shareholders that we have the experience, the capability, the expertise and the commitment to step into this oversight role and to always act in the best interests of the company and to a growing extent, its stakeholders.

“What a privilege to have their trust, and what a responsibility. It is easy when times are good, and the company is running smoothly but the Board steps into its own when times are more difficult.”

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