If Wall Street risk-taking ruled the end of the last century, and Washington rulemaking dominated the start of this one, now what?
As a new decade gets underway, the new force for reckoning is Main Street. Your CFO may be tracking ticker symbols and your general counsel may be ticking compliance boxes, but as a director, you need to focus on an even bigger picture. Here are the five issues our members are watching most closely, based on what we are hearing around the country.
- Performance metrics: Determine optimal metrics to track and find ways (including pay) to instill throughout the enterprise. As part of this, focus on the business, your customers and deepening your understanding of how your enterprise generates sustained cash flow in a competitively unique, sustainable manner.
- Board composition: The year 2011 may be off for congressional elections, but it’s definitely on when it comes to board elections. Empower your governance committee to find the best members for your board, based on your company’s strategy and related risks.
- Risk oversight: Enterprise risk management is more than a buzzword. Deepen and refine your board’s role in this important area—and make sure you have a rehearsed and drilled crisis response and communication plan.
- Advocacy: Don’t just focus on compliance with regulations; work with NACD to educate policymakers on the value of boards and the realities of how they operate.
- Board-shareowner communications: Shareholders welcome dialogue, so find ways to provide it. Let your investors know what you have done and are doing—especially in the key areas mentioned here.
When you accomplish these five goals, you will not only keep Wall Street and Washington happy, but you will have the kind of “Main Street Mojo” that makes companies—and boards—truly great.