This Week in Governance: August 30
Optimism seemed to be in short supply last week on several fronts. Hurricane Ida has made its devastating landfall, the COVID-19 surge continues, as does the humanitarian crisis in Afghanistan.
Yet, we’ve found three stories that show promise of a brighter future that have positive implications for governance and technology.
First, a heartwarming story out of Afghanistan: The “Good News Network” featured a story of an all-girls Robotics team in Afghanistan that was offered a scholarship and an American woman who made it possible. Here’s the story!
New Competition for the Old Guard: Long-Term Stock Exchanges
Last week we applauded the listing of Twillio and Asana (two progressive, forward-thinking technology companies) on the Long-Term Stock Exchange (LTSE).
For the founders of LTSE, this was a significant milestone 10-plus years in the making, as highlighted in Declan Harty’s article in Fortune last week. Eric Ries, author of “The Lean Startup,” dreamt of an exchange where “executive compensation (would) be tied to a business’s long-term performance, a crackdown on speculative trading, and allow management teams to retain enough power to freely pursue long-term ideas—all in the name of alleviating the day-to-day pressures public companies had grown used to.”
Whether or not LTSE becomes a legitimate third-party to the NYSE or NASDAQ remains to be seen (we’d welcome the alternative!), but it is further positive evidence of the changing of the governance guard. LTSE is clearly positioning itself as the ESG and DEI-focused alternative to a century-old approach to governance, and one that removes the friction and short-sighted focus on quarterly profit/earnings in favor of long-term stakeholder success.
Survey Says: CEOs Will AccelerateTechnology Investments
Speaking of a long-term view and approach, last week Fortune/Deloitte announced findings from a recent survey on CEOs’ plans to invest in technology modernization and the results are promising.
Deloitte CEO Joe Ucuzoglu says, “CEOs are optimistic about the year ahead, expecting strong growth fueled by innovation and pent-up consumer demand. Key to achieving their growth goals will be an intense focus on sustaining the momentum of their digital transformations, as well as optimizing new workplace models to attract and retain a world-class workforce. All things tech and talent will dominate the CEO agenda throughout 2021 and beyond.”
Of note to us were the challenges ahead and how technology adoption will put additional wood behind the arrow in alleviating them. The survey noted that “talent, in nearly every form” was at the top of the list.
Following talent, CEOs noted multi-stakeholder management, time management, diversity, and ESG. For us, this is a continuation of a core theme we’ve seen for some time – that material progress on complex, global issues are becoming a requirement for agile organizational performance. That means technology must sit at the center of strategy and execution and no function or group within an organization can afford to ignore it, the least of which is the board of directors.
This is precisely why we continue to see aggressive adoption of technology like OnBoard across a diverse set of organizations globally.
Because Diversity is Worth It: L’Oreal Earns New EDGEplus Certification
We were heartened to see L’Oreal acknowledged by the EDGE foundation as the first company to be certified in its EDGEplus certification — a label aiming to “serve as a gold standard for cultural inclusivity.” Fast Company’s Connie Lin has a great write-up on the certification and L’Oreal’s efforts to achieve it.
We are encouraged by this progress and will be monitoring EDGE and their work. We recently featured a webinar on “Lead Like an Ally: Embracing Diversity and Inclusion in the Boardroom & Beyond.”
In it (you can watch a replay here), we discuss practical ways a board and leadership team can engage board members and foster an inclusive boardroom, create and enhance diversity planning with leaders with unique perspectives, and apply actionable tools to facilitate meaningful discussions on diversity in your organization.
About The Author
- Rob Kunzler is OnBoard’s Chief Marketing Officer. With 20+ years of executive marketing leadership experience, Kunzler brings proven expertise in brand development, lead generation, partner and alliance marketing, direct marketing, product marketing, digital marketing, and public relations.
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