The world is growing more complex and volatile, risks are more interconnected, and shareholder expectations are rising. In other words, it’s business as usual for directors.
But there are key constituents, and some who sit in judgment, who may not be totally familiar with the facts on the ground. This, frankly, is the real substance of NACD’s mission: to advocate, educate and collaborate on behalf of board directors with those who exert a profound impact through regulation or legislation. Our mission also requires that we get deeply engaged in the inner workings and fine tuning of how the boardroom is regulated.
I experienced this firsthand when the House Financial Services Subcommittee on Capital Markets and Government Sponsored Enterprises asked NACD to testify on the pros and cons of the whistleblower provisions of Dodd-Frank. I thought you might find the details interesting.
During the hearing, House members entered the testimony room, asked their questions and left, making for a whirlwind of names, faces and activity. Even so, the members were a respectful, attentive audience, and I was able to cover the important points that directors are most concerned about in these provisions, such as having no requirement to report information to the employer before bringing it to the government and the lack of recourse to a company in the event an employee makes false allegations.
This issue of NACD Directorship, like the NACD itself, is more than just what the future holds from Congress, but also covers such important issues and questions as how a board can pull a company out of a tailspin. Should companies disclose political spending? How should boards address succession? Open it up, and I guarantee that you will want to keep on reading and learning—not only this summer, but year round and life long— to carry out your corporate governance duties.
Kenneth Daly is president and CEO of the National Association of Corporate Directors.