We are pleased to share that Lena Wu is newly appointed as independent board director for Matterworks Inc. Her Life Science expertise and Executive experience will contribute well for the board for the future.
Latest Company Joining Our Governance Community
We proud to serve:
Acoustic Wave Cell Therapy, Inc.
ZIVO BIOSCIENCE, Inc
For those who cannot attend our live sessions, we are setting up an online library for which you can register to watch the recorded versions of our program. Learn more on our webite on Feb 1!
The beginning of our new year is a perfect time to reflect on our hopes, dreams and fears for the future. This is especially true, given the last couple of years as we have faced uncertainty due to the pandemic. Unfortunately, despite all of our hopes that COVID would be behind us by now, that challenge and the surrounding uncertainty it poses for business persists. We will not get back to “business as usual” this year. So, as we begin 2022 -- as board members-- we need to support the organizations we serve with creative and smart ways to be even more flexible, agile, innovative and thoughtful in addressing the many challenges, changes and opportunities we face.
Here are my thoughts about key hopes, dreams and fears board directors should consider for this year:
A New World of Work
“The Great Resignation” was a well-used phrase last year as millions of Americans left their jobs in 2021. That trend will continue in 2022 as people strive for more meaningful work and the desire to continue to work outside of the traditional office environment to achieve better work-life balance, physical safety from COVID, and emotional safety at work (especially for women and people of color). This exodus will continue to be a top concern. That’s not all! A myriad of other related concerns are also key, including attracting and retaining top talent, optimizing the employee experience and technology for remote and hybrid workforces, enhancing workforce culture and employee engagement, compensation and benefits, and paying attention to the mental and physical health of the employees who do stay. In addition, employers will need to invest in keeping their employees’ skills and competencies up-to-date in an era of continuously accelerating technological change.
Actually, this is an exciting time as we truly see the promise of a better future of work emerging. Work can be more flexible, human, inclusive, focused on core values and a positive work culture, and truly technologically enabled. We can finally realize the power of digitization and the promise of the 4th Industrial Revolution, a term coined at the World Economic Forum in 2016, but which we wish to see play out to its full potential.
Some companies may hold onto the traditional model of work and force employees back to the office -- despite their desire for more flexibility and autonomy – and miss important opportunities for transformation. More likely, we will see many mis-steps by companies trying to navigate this new landscape of work and worker expectations. Those who don’t embrace the change, take advantage of these trends, listen to their employees, and pay attention to the impact of the rise of the independent workforce and Creator Economy – fueled by digital and social media platforms, online networks and blockchain, such as Decentralized Autonomous Organizations (DAOs) – will ultimately fail.
Digital & Social Media, Cyber-security, Data, Big Tech & the Metaverse = Boards Focusing on Tech Ethics in the Boardroom
There is much to hope for, dream about and even
fear (in a healthy, “I need to pay attention to this and learn more about it” kind of way) regarding to all things related to digital, data and Big Tech. We should anticipate more proposed legislative changes that will impact on the tech landscape. Congress will likely pursue legislative solutions for continued cyber thefts coming from China and the infusion of Chinese money into emerging tech.
The issue of misinformation and disinformation of social media platforms will also be top of mind. Meanwhile, according to Hubspot, social media has become the #1 marketing channel for both B2B and B2C, so the problem of mis- and disinformation will be exacerbated as more money continues to flow into those platforms for marketing and advertising spends.
Data privacy laws continue to become more ubiquitous and complex. According to Gartner, “by the end of 2023, privacy laws will cover the personal information of 75% of the world’s population.” This elevates the board's role in compliance and risk mitigation as it pertains to digital and data matters.
I predict we’ll also see more Hackivists (hacking as a form of civil disobedience to promote a political agenda or social change). This presents not only a cybersecurity but also a reputational risk to business for which boards should prepare.
And of course, there’s the emerging metaverse and its impact on business, media, culture and society. Turning once again to Accenture’s Fjord 2022 Trends report – and as I have been saying for years, "It's hard to talk about what's next without talking about ethics – and embedding ethics from the start should be an absolute must." Digital, data and technology ethics is a crucial board issue. Let us hope board composition in every company continues to evolve to address these issues because today every enterprise is a digital enterprise.
ESG & DEI Finally Move from Acronyms to Embedded Values in Every Organization
A hope for this year is that environmental, societal and corporate governance issues (ESG) are truly top of mind for board leaders. Time is running out for us to prioritize climate action and it must begin with us as business leaders. Also, the SEC and institutional investors are continuing to increase their focus on corporations’ ESG strategies, commitments and actions through more formalized reporting frameworks. There’s some low hanging fruit here in the way we think about the future of work and the use of digital technologies, collaboration platforms and remote work, which is so much kinder to the environment than business travel and forcing employees back to office environments that require long commutes. We hope this will be taken into consideration as return-to-office plans evolve. In addition, the supply chain crisis provides an opportunity to rethink how we can develop innovative lasting solutions to positively impact on the environment through the use of AI and blockchain to increase visibility and improve planning across the entire supply chain. Also, consumer habits and values are changing. According to Accenture’s Fjord 2022 Trends Report, consumers have stopped – or are ready to stop buying – as much clothing, footwear, furniture, etc. in the name of sustainability.
On the S&G side of ESG, we hope board leaders will continue to focus on diversity and equity and support the organizations they serve in creating truly inclusive workforces. Women and people of color have disproportionately lost a lot of ground during the pandemic, and I truly hope boards will prioritize DE&I issues in their boardroom discussions. Looking ahead, the minimum wage / living wage issue and demands from organized labor will continue to be top issues, and I hope this draws new attention and action to the too-long-ignored issue of CEO and executive (and board) compensation and the inequity with employees and workers pay. Whether one is favorable or not, it deserves attention.
Author Jen McClure is a seasoned senior executive and board director with extensive experience in the media, tech and information services industries. Jen is CEO and chair of JEM, a Silicon Valley-based management consultancy and publishing company dedicated to helping organizations successfully shape the future -- with a focus on results, driven by mission, purpose and values. Jen is a respected leader with a track record of identifying important business, technological and societal trends. Named a “Power Player” in management consulting by Business Insider, Jen works with large enterprise organizations and with growth-stage companies as a consultant, adviser and investor. Jen is a Limited Partner in four venture funds and has served on an Investment Committee and as an Investment Analyst and Subject Matter Expert. Jen is one of the original authorities on digital and social media. In 2005, she founded a global nonprofit think tank to research this evolving technology landscape, and led the organization’s merger with The Conference Board in 2016. She was the first Global Head and VP of Digital and Social Media at Thomson Reuters. She also held roles with Ziff Davis, Ketchum Public Relations and New Electronic Media Science. Jen served on the board and Compensation Committee of a 4th-generation family-owned media company and has served on many corporate advisory boards, including customer advisory boards of Adobe, Cisco, Nexgate and Proofpoint. She currently serves on the board and executive committee of KQED, one of the nation’s largest public media companies and chairs the Nominating and Governance Committee. She also serves on the boards of Watermark and Miracle Messages. Jen is a Governance Fellow of the National Association of Corporate Directors (NACD) and Distinguished Principal Fellow Emeritus of the Marketing & Communications Center of The Conference Board.
Serving as a board director is both an honor and a duty. This program equips directors with the understanding about their responsibilities, the current and emerging challenges and trends which face them and the fundamental knowledge and skills they need to be capable contributors to public, private and advisory boards. Arm yourself for success with this highly interactive program and secure a level one board certification.
WHAT MAKES THIS PROGRAM DIFFERENT
Our Board Professional Program is for aspiring and current board members who want to increase their ability to engage meaningfully in discussions of leading-edge topics, ask sharper questions more easily, delve to the core of critical issues and improve proportional impact in a boardroom to create more shareholder value – not just conceptually, but tangibly by helping management think more critically about decisions.
Boardwise offers 8, 2-hour modules of training that span from “welcome to the boardroom” to leading-edge technology application, including AI-Decision Science and Cybersecurity.
Our modules are strikingly different from other programs. Other programs are structured as more lecture-oriented knowledge downloads, often around regulatory and compliance topics to prepare for test-taking or compliance.
In contrast, Boardwise modules offer:
Guest speakers and breakout sessions that enable peer-to-peer discussion and immediate “learn by doing.”
Leading-edge topics such as AI and Decision Science, Cybersecurity, Data and Digitization. The discussion orients to a topic – drawing on life experiences – to understand the concepts and limitations, assumptions that can trap, errors frequently made by management, and sources of success and failure.
This enables participants to ask sharper questions – questions that help lift management out of the weeds, challenge existing knowledge/assumptions/frameworks and see with new lens/perspectives to avoid wasteful churns and pivots.
As one person said, it seems “Montessori-style.” Modules and discussions enable knowledge retention and application to empower you in your boardroom.
TOPICS AND CONTENT
This program has two components.
INITIAL ORIENTATION –assessment and personal one-one one video call with Boardwise expert
Participants complete an online Board Bona Fide® assessment to establish current board readiness. You have a one-hour private session with a board expert coach to review your profile; discuss what type of board is the best match and explore suggestions for how to achieve your goal to serve on a board.
GOVERNANCE EDUCATION SESSIONS– live educational sessions online
The live interactive program includes nine sessions, each of which is two hours.
The modules include presentations and interviews with experts on governance and the hot topics which directors must address today, including:governance differences among countries, cybersecurity, risk management and decision-making, artificial intelligence, strategic designs, financial foundations and emerging challenges in digital transformation and diversity.
Each session includes interviews with topic experts, facilitated presentations related to director duties and cares on the topic and experiential board exercises based on real-world situational cases. Cases are used for board simulations and discussion. Homework assignment are provided a week prior to each session for participants to read and prepare.
Governance Sessions Topics
FUNDAMENTALS OF BOARD SERVICE
BOARD’S ROLE IN STRATEGY AND INNOVATION
BOARDS AND BIG DECISIONS: CYBER&BIO SECURITY AND RISK MANAGEMENT
BOARDS AND BIG DECISIONS: ARTIFICIAL INTELLIGENCE AND DECISION-MAKING
BOARDS AND BIG DECISIONS: ROLE OF BOARDS IN THE DIGITAL AGE
THE CEO, YOUR BOARD STYLE AND BOARD DYNAMICS
SOLUTIONS FOR SPECIFIC CHALLENGES
Why This Program?
Taught by world-class global experts in corporate governance, you will:
Learn the latest in governance issues and how to manage them;
Prioritize board roles and responsibilities;
Understand the economic, legal, reputation and fiduciary responsibilities of directors;
Feel empowered to ask the right questions and make important decisions
Understand and improve your effectiveness on a board;
Learn about best practices forevaluating company financial and strategic performance;
Improve committee effectiveness and personal director contributions;
Consider ways to improve board mix, meeting effectiveness, relationships with shareholders and stakeholders and increase overall corporate reputation;
Compare practices and ideas with director colleagues from other companies who participate;
Become a more effective, knowledgeable leader in corporate governance.
Faculty for the Program
Dr. Donna Hamlin Professor Dr. Fred van Eenennaam
Jen McClure Marilyn Nagel
Join those board directors who understand: board learning is a permanent commitment.
We have three offerings of this program this year. Learn more and register at