Looking ahead post-pandemic: Checklist

Looking ahead post-pandemic: Checklist

This is undoubtedly a busy and trying time for boards. In such times it can be hard to take a step back and reflect before moving to action. But real change happens where we question the things we always took for granted. We suggest the Chairman, Senior Independent Director (SID) and Company Secretary use this checklist to help structure conversations about the future.

Board logistics

  • Is our board meeting technology working to the right standard to enable us to be effective through a longer period of virtual meetings?
  • Do we need to adapt our approach to forward planning of Board topics for the year ahead?
  • Could we function better as a Board next year if we adapt the timing or logistics of our board and committee meetings?

Resilience

  • How does the budgeting process need to change in order to be meaningful even with extreme levels of uncertainty? Does it need to exist at all?
  • Could we use what we have learnt from the last six months to enhance our scenario and resilience planning?
  • Would we benefit from integrating risk management tools like wargaming and reverse stress testing?
  • Are there new risk areas or emerging concerns to which the Board would like to direct attention?

Strategy

  • Has the prolonged uncertainty changed our thinking on strategic discussions held earlier in the pandemic?
  • Are there emerging strategic opportunities we should be discussing with management?
  • Are we clear about how our approach to ESG issues is integrated into our strategy and communicated to stakeholders and regulators?

Committees

  • Is the Audit Committee providing continuous oversight and steer to Internal Audit to ensure resources are deployed where most needed as circumstances change?
  • Is the Remuneration Committee well prepared to make big calls around performance criteria, discretion for 2020 and the appropriateness of the existing remuneration policy in current circumstances?

People

  • Reflecting on the last six months and considering how the organisation is adapting for the near future, are we certain that the Board has the critical expertise and skills it needs amongst the non-executive directors?
  • Is the Board having the real conversations with management about how to keep staff healthy, motivated and working effectively as plans are made for a future working model?


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