This session introduces the foundational duties, expectations and guardrails to prepare board directors for their work ahead. We discuss the purpose, principles and models for boards, along with director duties and safeguards. You also learn about board committees and collaboration with the executive team, the areas of expertise required to serve and the best ways to find the ideal board opportunity. Using a real board situation, we create teams of participants into two boards who then meet to explore what to do. We then discuss the quality of the thinking and decisions made and share what happened in the real story. The simulation is well-liked as a stimulating way to learn.

4/5 9/6

CFOs are too often surprised by analyst questions and earnings releases can go awry. It does not have to be this way. This session covers four topics where even non-financial board members can add value. By understanding: 1) the approaches of activist investors, 2) questions fundamental analysts (not traders) ask and the tools they use to discover those questions, 3) where board members can add value -- and often are legally “on the hook” – such as leasing and 4) how to improve investor relations by understanding approaches of activist investors and employee activists, questions analysts typically ask and board’s role in stakeholder communications.. Board work in finance not just about auditing and compliance. It is about avoiding financial dangers. This session provides breakout sessions to practice how to ask key questions of management.

4/12 9/13

This session focuses on the evolving role of the board in the digital economy and the age of AI. From the board’s role in digital transformation and AI strategy, to data privacy regulatory compliance to cyber security oversight, the role of the board is crucial. This session also covers the role of the board in technology ethics. We discuss the need for new kinds of expertise on boards, new committee structures, and board composition for good corporate governance in the digital age. Participants will participate in a hands-on case study session on digital and cyber risk governance and will leave this session equipped with more than 50+ questions board members should ask to improve their oversight of these important areas.

4/19 9/20

Governance differs country to country. This session provides you with real-life examples of global governance challenges and practices. We’ll focus on today’s governance landscape in a multipolar world and what is on the boards’ agenda. We will look at the differences in structure and behavior among different countries, such as USA, UK, Dutch, Swiss, Chinese, and Italian boards. Together, we will discuss a Harvard Business Case featuring a real-life governance challenge. What would you do as a board member facing this challenge in the boardroom?

4/26 9/27

“Who owns strategy and the transformation agenda?” We’ll look for an answer to this question during the session. This session addresses the duties of boards to ensure long-term success for enterprises. Discussions cover opportunities for shared value creation, sustainability, and new ways of working for dynamic companies and with global partners to deal with innovation, disruption, emerging technologies and global ventures.

You get familiar with 3 strategic games boards can play, the characteristics of different innovation models and explore the board’s role in the innovation process. How to make decisions wisely when we do not really know what is to come? The heart of the session is the Harvard Business Case discussion that puts your knowledge to the trial with a real-life case example of a strategic challenge. Closing the session, an experienced board member will share his/her experiences on how to help the company and board navigate through the transformation and strategic challenges of today.

5/3 10/4

Boards often face challenges with ethical dimensions. In the current environment with scrutiny of governance practices and expanding duties for oversite, it is more vital than ever to have the skills and processes to make the “right” decisions: wise and effective ethical ones. This session addresses the process and framework for making “right” ethical decisions across strategic choices, business practices, organization’s place in society and attention for employees, stakeholders, customers and suppliers. This session includes a board simulation to address an ethical board situation and discussion of the real case outcome, as well as discussion with a guest regarding such issues and how they were handled.

5/10 10/11

From economic turbulence to cyberattacks, to disruptions caused by climate change and geopolitics to investor and employee activists, changes in workforce expectations, and environmental, social, and governance (ESG) issues, organizations face a broad range of challenges and risks. This session will cover how boards can conduct a comprehensive risk audit and assessment and of all internal and external risks, from financial to IT and operations and beyond, and create a risk governance framework that supports the long-term success of the business. Through presentations, discussion and case studies, It will cover how to understand risks as opportunities and focus on the positive use of risk and risk knowledge in the strategic planning and execution of plans at organizations of all sizes.

5/17 10/18

In this time of unprecedented disruption, the evolving landscape of work and the board’s role in providing oversight continues to evolve. This session provides an opportunity to gain an understanding of the strategic implications, and action steps, that are required to address how work is changing in response to the evolving world and resulting implications. Organizations are grappling with social and political upheaval, climate change, technological advancements, and disruptions that are happening on a global scale, affecting every aspect of our lives. The workforce is more diverse and distributed, and people face complex challenges amid geopolitical uncertainty. Organizations are now ecosystems of people, technologies, and broader societies. The board’s role has shifted to include stewarding culture, DEI, and human capital management (as some jobs become obsolete new roles emerge), and organizations are increasingly expected to operate ethically and contribute positively to society while navigating regulatory compliance like ESG. In this session, you will gain the insight and strategic mindset needed to harness the opportunities presented by the evolving future of work. An engaging and familiar scenario in our board case study allows participants to work in small groups and put into practice lessons learned from this session as well as prior modules in the program.

5/24 10/25

This session is an open panel with the experts during which you can ask questions you have about any topics in governance and for guidance on your goals for director roles and opportunities. The panel members offer insights and counsel during the session and also provide resources for specific topics after the session.

5/31 11/1