Corporate governance leaders have made it clear that regular director evaluation and assessment is now an issue of corporate risk. As you flip through this issue of C-Suite, you’ll see a common theme around board refreshment.
Our cover story focuses on calls from investors and other stakeholders for more diversity in the boardroom. We continue to see this theme of refreshment in The Changing Face of America’s Boardrooms, which highlights the contributions of first-time directors. Cindie Jamison—chairman of the board at Tractor Supply and a director on three other boards—details her experience in an exclusive C-Suite interview of being elected to not one but two activist slates. Meanwhile, directors and investors discussed the need for regular board evaluations and new ways of thinking at events such as the Equilar and Nasdaq Board Leadership Forum and TK Kerstetter’s Investor Board Performance Review.
Despite calls to action from investors and other stakeholders, the old ways of doing business are slow to change. The closed-network approach of adding board members based on “who you know” has maintained the status quo. Advocates for change don’t feel like enough is being done. And quite simply, the excuse that there are not enough qualified candidates to create diverse boards is just not true.
That’s why we’ve developed Equilar BoardEdge and the new Equilar Diversity Network (affectionately referred to as “EDN” and pronounced as “Eden”). It’s not unreasonable that directors with decades of professional experience won’t remember everyone they worked with over the years. So we want to help cure “board amnesia” and connect them with qualified potential board members who may not be on their immediate radar. Our technology leverages big data and social networking concepts to connect boards with their larger, extended networks and beyond to tap a much broader candidate pool.
It’s amazing that technology has been applied everywhere across the business world but isn’t as quickly adopted in the boardroom. By expanding their horizons, boards will be better equipped to face the challenges of today’s evolving corporate landscape, meet shareholder demand and drive company value.
Please enjoy this issue and feel free to contact me directly with any feedback.
CEO and Founder, Equilar