Amidst the current pandemic situation, businesses are facing challenges which are compelling them to think about the quality of their boards in terms of expertise. The entire process of examining independent directors which has started sometime back has been observed to be enhanced.
The executive search firm Ordgers Berndtson, India has observed with the help of a study that CEOs are not receiving appropriate guidance from the Board. Further, it has also been observed that though big listed companies have majority of Independent Directors on the board, they are not making any major contribution towards value addition. However, on the other hand, smaller listed companies are focussing more on developing their internal repository of talents to promote them as directors rather than looking for external persons for filling up the vacancies.
Incorporating the concerns of Industry, the MD of Hunt Partners India has highlighted that though many board members may not have the experience to work in a pandemic situation like this, companies are now interested in inducting independent directors on the board who have faced similar situations in the past and can challenge conventional thinking. So, the emergence of COVID-19 has actually pushed them to think along these lines.
It has also been expressed by the industry experts that previously the companies would look for Independent Directors who will not ask any uncomfortable questions. In a shift in practice, the companies are looking for those professionals who can bring enough value to the board and can help the business to grow by raising challenging questions and sharing different perspectives.
In addition, the experts like Mr.Shailesh Haribhakti, an Independent Director on seven reputed corporate boards, has observed that level of engagement between directors, Chairman, CEO and CXO has increased substantially in the past four months. He has expressed that there are substantial evidences that CEOs are engaging the CXO officials as well for imbibing a culture of free interaction with even the executives who are one level below the board.
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