Board work needs to adapt to new realities

Corporate Governance needs to be revisited and adapt to new realities, as stakeholder inclusion and sustainability” – Turid Solvang, CEO FutureBoards

Turid Solvang, the CEO of FutureBoards is focused on rethinking corporate governance for the new era. We were fortunate to interview Turid Solvang  about her perspectives. Turid is the CEO of FutureBoards, a corporate governance and sustainability expert and influencer.  She was previously the Chair of EcoDa, the European organization for Corporate Directors, and Vice Chair of European Women on Boards. The interview was done prior to the pandemic, why it is not mentioned in the discussions. But Turids ambitions and thought is even further amplified with the arrival of the pandemic and the increasing climate challenges.

You find the interview in podcast form with CEO of FutureBoard Turid Solvang here , and at the Exploring Leaders Podcast, where you normally listen to podcasts.

Turid Solvang is passionate about highlighting the importance of corporate governance and rethinking what good corporate governance means.  Turid believes we have been shortsighted versus the society and environment and not had enough balance towards all stakeholders. She shares that digital as social media is now facilitating an increase of that awareness. Turid thinks we need to more clearly define what value creation is needed for whom and what we mean with long term.

Turid Solvang believes a major challenge for board directors will be to keep themselves updates and informed on what is happening and the impact it has.

To rethink the whole concept of corporate  governance and what a good board member is might be required.

“Is it sustainable to have 10-15 people meet in maximum only monthly and go through point by point of mostly historic data, or discuss strategy only one time a year?” Turid asks.

She thinks we need to discuss more on what the role of the board should be in terms of control or supervise, will it even be possible to have it in the same person or group? She believes also digital will continue to contribute to corporate renewal. For those that make positive impact, its often been based on a trusted relationship between the management and the board, incl an opportunity to fail. On communication she believes the board chairs plays a major role in defining and ensuring the appropriate transparency from the company to the market, even if the CEO is more often the spokesperson.

The CEO of FutureBoards truly likes her job and realize that people want to exchange thoughts on these important topics as sustainability and corporate governance and FutureBoards are a base for international meeting that Turid Solvang organizes every year. An example of such event was the Corporate Governance Summit 2018  and Turids participation in the next Global Board Leadership Summit in Singapore . Turid is also part of the Norwegian effort Skift for Norwegian business leaders to achieve the Norwegian climate goals by 2030, and as such educates leaders on the topic of SDG.

Turid Solvang has founded the forum “Leading for the Future” in collaboration with Financial Times and Aftenpost and held the first event on February 2020, and planning for another one 2021, see Related Events below.

When it comes to companies to learn from Turid finds that  Unilever initiated with with former CEO Paul Pohlman is in a unique position and has truly made it a purpose of the company, read more at Unilever Sustainable Living Report Hub.

She also point to leaders as Svein Ole Thorseter, the CEO of Yara. Here is an inspiring podcast episode from World Economic Forum – The Great Reseat, where Svein Ole Thorseter shares his insights , and he also point to a WEF report The Future of Nature and Business.

And Turid thinks Thina Saltvedt, Senior Adviser at Group Sustainable Finance in Nordea, is worth to follow. Here Thina Saltvedt is part of the Nobel Peace Center Panel discussing the Clean Energy Transitions.

And finally on the question of which furniture Turid would be, it comes natural for her, she wants of course to be a chair!

LEARN MORE

There are many aspects and opportunities to dive deeper into the subject of sustainability, here follows some of them;

BASE AWARENESS

To first start with the awareness side, Harvard has done a great short summary on the insights of climate risk, as well as an approach to tackle the insight; Professor James McCarthy from Harvard shares the three Rs to be communicated to the public and our employees;

REALITY: 97% of climate experts have concluded that human-caused climate change is happening.
RISK: we may face abrupt changes with massively disruptive impacts.
RESPONSE: there is much we can do and that the sooner we respond, the better off we will be.
Listen to Professor James McCarty here  

RELATED EVENTS

Leading for the Future 2021
March 16 2021 in Oslo  – Reserv the dates for next years “Leading for the Future”  event where you will meet Turid Solvang CEO FutureBoards and many engaged leaders (payable).

Climate Risks in Financial Markets
10 CET September 18 2020.
Webinar on Climate Risks in Financial Markets
Sustainability is a rapidly evolving area within the financial market and is a priority of regulators.
Join FCG and Ethos International revisiting how climate related risks impact financial markets.
Read more and sign up here (free)

Rethink. What to build on? What to Create? What to Remove or Postpone?
8-9 CET September 22 2020
Digoshen Partners, all NEDs & Chairs, share current  insights and facilitate live sessions with international board directors and business executives with at least on board role. Find more and sign up here (free)

Renewal for a Sustainable Business. How and for Whom?
8-9 CET September 30 2020
The NEDs & Chairs and Digoshen Partners shares topic insights and discuss in live sessions with international board directors and business executives with at least on board role. Learn more and sign up here (free)

Recovery in a New Era of Corporate Governance, INSEAD Directors Forum
9-13.30 CET October 16 2020
Thís thought leadership forum will be hosted virtually by INSEAD Corporate Governance Center. A panel of distinguished speakers will share the governance conundrums such as social justice, cooperative capitalism, climate change and impact of crisis on boards that have come under the spotlight and comment on how these will shape the future of governance.Find more and sign up here (payable):

MORE RELEVANT RESOURCES 

The of Founder of Digoshen and Digoshen Exploring Leaders, Liselotte Engstam was trained this year by Al Gore to become a Climate Reality Leader via the Climate Reality Leadership Project.

One of the initiatives Digoshen will be expanding on is to find ways to simplify and facilitate access to insightful and inspiring resources on the climate and sustainability topic for board directors to more easily get into action. We have started to explore resources available and curate them for easier access, it’s an emerging journey.

It is a curated content page for chairmen, board directors and investors on tools, frameworks and inspiration usable for boards in their effort to proactively manage the opportunities and risks arising from climate and sustainability issues .

Selecting a starting point from those resources for board directors and business executives, we would recommend to start with

This Post was also shared at the Digoshen Insight Blog

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