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GLOBAL NETWORK OF DIRECTOR INSTITUTES 2020–2021 SURVEY REPORT

The Global Network of Director Institutes (GNDI) is a network of leading director institutes from around the world. A global program of reciprocity helps directors, and their boards, to unlock access to director resources around the world. GNDI comprises 22 institutes representing more than 150,000 directors and other governance professionals around the globe.

KEY FINDINGS

Directors give high marks to themselves and to their management teams.

Although only 14 percent of boards had “pandemic risk” listed as a top risk before the crisis, 72 percent of directors were pleased with the performance of their crisis response plans and their own ability to provide oversight during the crisis. Many credit prior scenario planning with providing a good foundation for an effective response to the COVID-19 crisis. Clear majorities of directors believe that they were able to effectively govern during the crisis and that their organizations adapted well.

There will be an increased emphasis on risk in 2021 and beyond.

Directors anticipate expanding their risk dashboards to incorporate new kinds of risks next year and plan to consult with more outside experts to gain a broader perspective on future risks. The crisis will likely have the most significant long-term impact on how boards engage their companies on strategy and risk and assess employee health and safety. However, just 26 percent of directors across the globe think that they will need to improve their crisis management plans in the new risk landscape ahead.

Virtual board meetings work, but they are second best.

A minority of directors view virtual board meetings as just as effective as in-person meetings. The lack of nonverbal communication is the highest-ranked challenge of virtual meetings. However, even in this second-best environment, most directors believe that they have been able to perform their work effectively.

Virtual board meetings are here to stay.

Based on their experiences over the last year, strong majorities of directors expect to see virtual board and committee meetings in the future. They also view virtual board engagement as a useful tool to enhance board effectiveness. Although many boards in Asia and Oceania have already met in person, most boards across the globe do not anticipate meeting in person until the first or second quarter of 2021.

Directors give high ratings to their own time management.

Nearly 7 in 10 directors report spending more time on board work this year than last year; most report increasing their time commitment by 50 percent. Directors serving on more than one board were nearly unanimous (96%) in saying that they were able to manage their commitments across their multiple responsibilities. Just 8 percent reported that they had either left or desired to leave a board due to lack of time.

To read the full report, click here.

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