• Editor's Note: Keep Politics Out of the Boardroom
    Issue: 2020 Third Quarter
    By Charles Elson
    We were traditionally taught that there were two things never discussed in polite company — religion and politics. These were guaranteed to ruin any family Thanksgiving dinner. Why? Because they were naturally divisive — subjects about which every member of any gathering would have widely differing ...
  • Letter from the Chairman: Service to Our Nation
    Issue: 2020 Third Quarter
    By Robert H. Rock
    A new model of capitalism based on the overarching themes of purpose, inclusion, and sustainability is upending the decades old doctrine of shareholder primacy. For over a half century, corporate America has placed priority on providing profitability for its shareholders, which has proven to be high...
  • Sticking to Business in the Boardroom
    Issue: 2020 Third Quarter
    By April Hall
    Jon Hanson says his first board appointment was likely connected to his politics. Not necessarily because he was a Republican or a Democrat, but because of his relationships.Hanson, the founder and chairman of Hampshire Real Estate Companies, was appointed to the New Jersey Bell (now Verizon) board ...
  • Anyone's Game: This year’s U.S. presidential election will likely be a photo finish. How should boards prepare?
    Issue: 2020 Third Quarter
    By Maureen Milford
    Former Vice President Joseph R. Biden perhaps made the understatement of the 2020 presidential election in a school gym a few miles from his home in Greenville, Del.“Well, this is the most unusual campaign, I think, in modern history,” Biden said during a June speech on the coronavirus pandemic.It’s...
  • Anyone's Game: If Trump Is Reelected
    Issue: 2020 Third Quarter
    By Maureen Milford
    Incumbents historically have had the best odds of a win. Since 1900 only five incumbents have lost a second-term bid.Economic downturns were afflicting the nation in all five of these political upsets, including that of Gerald Ford, who was never elected but became president after Richard Nixon’s re...
  • Anyone's Game: If Biden Wins
    Issue: 2020 Third Quarter
    By Maureen Milford
    While former Vice President Joe Biden has developed a progressive platform in his bid for president, during his decades in the Senate his political style was not vociferous or overly confrontational about progressive issues.Corporate directors who are interested in preparing for a Biden victory migh...
  • Anyones Game: A Contested Election
    Issue: 2020 Third Quarter
    By Maureen Milford
    Of the potential results in November, a close election raises a significant wild card for boards of directors.There has been some concern expressed that President Donald Trump may not concede if he loses to his challenger Joe Biden in a close election if he can raise claims about the legitimacy of t...
  • Crisis as an ESG Catalyst
    Issue: 2020 Third Quarter
    By Deborah Elllinger
    COVID-19 and Black Lives Matter have brought a harsh spotlight on environmental, social and governance issues (ESG), especially on the many “S” issues boards oversee. Your investors, employees and other stakeholders should know you understand and will react accordingly.While the pandemic is still wr...
  • Two Views — Will the shift to virtual board recruitment be bad for boards? Possibly, but not for the reasons you might think.
    Issue: 2020 Third Quarter
    By Nicole Sandford
    Virtual recruitment is not without challenges that, left unchecked, may result in poor board choices. A virtual process potentially eliminates some of the informal interactions that can be helpful in assessing cultural fit and values alignment. Board dinners, one-on-one in-person meetings with indiv...
  • Two Views — Virtual interviews tend to be more structured and somewhat more formal, encouraging everyone to be more prepared.
    Issue: 2020 Third Quarter
    By Julie Daum
    The magnitude of the COVID-19 health crisis and collapse in economic activity is unlike anything we have seen. Within most organizations, traditional in-person work patterns have been disrupted, while others have seen widespread layoffs or furloughs. Anxiety about job loss, economic uncertainty, per...
  • How Boards Can Respond to Calls for Racial Equity
    Issue: 2020 Third Quarter
    By Seymour Burchman, Barry Sullivan and Julia Thorner
    With widespread protests over persistent racism, many boards of directors are looking for their companies to do more to support racial equity. Here are considerations for different approaches that boards and management teams might pursue.Deciding among ESG goalsRacial justice is now a top-of-mind co...
  • Remote Meetings Could Improve Diversity and Inclusion
    By Harry Kraemer
    The COVID-19 pandemic has precipitated massive changes in how companies do business, how their employees perform their jobs, and how board governance is carried out amid tremendous uncertainty and even chaos. As many boards experienced, when COVID-19 struck, meetings increased in number from four to...
  • The Corporate Purpose Debate: Shareholder Value and Corporate Responsibility in an Era of COVID-19 and Social Unrest
    By Holly J. Gregory
    “U.S. public corporations are not playthings. They create jobs, produce goods and services that consumers depend on, affect the environment we live in, and build wealth that help Americans lead more secure lives. They are socially chartered institutions of enormous importance and value. Those who go...
  • Maintaining the ‘Softer Side of Governance’ in a Socially Distant World
    Issue: 2020 Third Quarter
    By Dottie Schindlinger
     As the COVID-19 pandemic began to surge in March and forced a global shift to remote work, there was a widespread assumption that the changes to corporate life would be temporary. It now seems more reasonable to assume our work lives have changed forever and working remotely will remain a comm...
  • One Capitalist Response to Black Lives Matter
    Issue: 2020 Fourth Quarter
    By Thomas A. Cole
    A number of leading capitalists assert that our economic system  is “frayed” (Jamie Dimon, CEO of JPMorgan Chase), “broken” (Ray Dalio, founder of Bridgewater Associates) and even “dead” (Marc Benioff, founder of Salesforce). As a result, there has been a resurgence in corporate focus on “stake...
  • Can Your Compliance Program Pass the Test?
    Issue: 2020 Third Quarter
    By Doug Raymond and Dan Collins
    Recent days have convincingly demonstrated the importance of the board’s risk oversight obligations, as the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic spread and cascaded globally. Under the In re Caremark International line of cases, the board should be aware of the types and magnitudes of the principal risk...
  • Managing Data-Related Enterprise Risks
    As COVID-19 continues to disrupt and challenge “normal life” around the world, the pandemic has also emboldened cybercriminals and nation-state actors to adapt and strengthen their targeting of various organizations. These include companies operating in the healthcare and medical research sectors, s...
  • Where in the World?
    Issue: 2020 Third Quarter
    Ambassador Philip Lader weighs in on specific geopolitical risk questions for the United States.ChinaHow should the United States manage its strategic competition with China? What can be done regarding tariffs on Chinese imports, currency manipulation, export subsidies, Hong Kong and Taiwan, America...
  • What Faces the Nation After the Election
    Issue: 2020 Third Quarter
    By Philip Lader
    Especially amidst the pandemic, Nov. 3’s outcome will have starkly consequential geopolitical and commercial impact says Phil Lader, former U.S. ambassador to the UK and Clinton cabinet member who has served on boards of several international public companies, think-tanks and nonprofits. Here are so...
  • Geopolitics in Governance
    Issue: 2020 Third Quarter
    By Philip Lader
     Boards can little afford relegating anticipation of tomorrow’s international news to scriptwriters of screen life’s “Homeland,” “24” and “Madame Secretary.” For the organizations directors serve, the significance of geopolitics, broadly defined, can be momentous.Effective directors must contin...