Boards in the Time of Crisis
By Scott Chase and David Shaw

The COVID-19 pandemic illustrates the risk-oversight challenges facing companies and their boards. We asked directors to reflect on early lessons learned and offer leadership advice for their governance colleagues. 


The unfolding COVID-19 crisis is very much like watching 9/11 happen in slow motion. We know it’s bad, and that it will get worse, but we have no clear indication of when we will reach the apex of the crisis and can begin to recover. We hope that by the time this issue of Directors & Boards arrives in your inbox and mailbox, that there may be some more clarity on this.

In the meantime, however, there are some questions that have emerged from this crisis, and directors must consider them even without knowing the final shape and scope of the damage the pandemic will bring to people, companies, economies and countries:

  • Have we been so efficient in running our companies that we’ve reduced our ability to effectively manage risk?
  • Conversely, can you sock away enough cash and redundancy to ever be able to weather these big storms?
  • What kind of leadership and inspiration can boards provide now?
  • What questions must boards ask and answer after the crisis?
  • How should we manage risk in the future?

Here, you’ll find the beginnings of answers — or, at the very least, the beginnings of discussions that might lead to answers.

Butterflies in New Mexico
The world community does not seem prepared to accept panglobal authority in the face of panglobal crises.
By Norman R. Augustine

COVID-19 and Leadership
Boards have a unique opportunity to help companies mitigate stress in their management teams by providing inspiration.
By Kathy Hopinkah Hannan

A Leadership Q&A With Stan Silverman
By Scott Chase

Risk Management and the Board
Lessons learned from the COVID-19 crisis.
By Brad Oates

The Key Challenges Boards Face Now
Some early lessons from India as it faces down COVID-19 illustrate what boards — and companies — are focusing on.
By Punita Kumar-Sinha



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