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New Generation Board Diversity - 2021 and Beyond

Updated: Dec 2, 2021

A new world order requires new thinking. A definition of stupidity, and ongoing risk, is to keep doing what we did in 2019, and expecting it to work post 2021.

Many Boards today are largely unchanged, and unchallenged, barely distinctive from Boards in 2010, or 1999. These were times when like, tended to attract, and recruit, like.

This has led to many Boards not being progressive, not fully engaged and informed in the digital era, and not truly challenging the Executive Directors about the future and sustainability of the business beyond a pandemic shock. Clearly not protecting stakeholder interests into a new world.

A new world where generations of customers do not recall a time without a mobile device - when you weren’t connected, always on, anywhere, any time.

A world where technology decisions are shortlisted by social and online research rather than Requests for Information and lengthy procurement processes, often taking months - even years.

In 2021 and beyond, investments will need to be made at a pace to match the digital era.

We will be facing both opportunity, and adversity, coming at organisations at machine speeds, and supported by AI.”

We are living and governing in a world where much of what we took for granted as a lifestyle in January 2020 - will never be the same again.

Our market has not changed this much, this quickly, this dramatically in living memory - and barely in history - change has always been gradual, albeit accelerating.

In the main our systems are outdated, our governance needs review, we need to speed up or waste away.

Industry giants are fading, and meteoric rises of Unicorns are bursting across the stock exchange shining brightly for a few years, only to vanish (likely gobbled up) if a newer shinier star pops up for investors, who expect fast gratification, and are easily bored.

Traditional brands are needing to focus on sustainability by innovation, rapidly going digital, finding new routes to market, faster and more flexible responses to customer needs – in short, changing rapidly the way they do business - they may no longer be encumbered with lumbering processes stultifying the ability of the business to grow.

Identifying new opportunities and risks, and rapidly embracing new ways to reach and service customers securely, unsaddled by legacy investments and strategies from a world gone by.

Boards in 2021 and beyond need true diversity to allow this transformation.

Boards need maturity and experience of course – the usual financial, legal and governance are still essential skills that don’t change – there is increased need for new generation government liaison (or private liaison on government boards) as the gap between governing bodies and enterprise has widened. Boards need cybersecurity, digital innovation, current thinking, futurist vision, understanding of the new digital customers appetites and whims - this can only come from diversity.

Wider diversity - not just gender but different experiences, and backgrounds, age, culture, and relevant geo location experience.

Planning for diversity on Boards should not be driven by quota, it should be a highly desirable, and urgent, strategic direction to protect the interests of all stakeholders.

"Stewart Manning was established in January 2020, as a collaborative global group of independent consultants, advisors and Non-Executive Directors, to support and assist enterprises and government agencies with forward thinking strategy, and leadership support, to ensure sustainability into what is guaranteed to be a very dynamic future.

Stewart Manning Collaboration is made up of a league of extraordinary, independent men and women with decades of experience in cyber security, digital transformation, digital marketing, telecommunications, innovation, project leadership and revenue generation.

A team with exceptional ability to identify the broken links in revenue optimisation and expose the less understood risks in digital transformation and cybersecurity due diligence.

Stewart Manning team believe we will not return to the 2019 world ever - it was fundamentally flawed and the positive side of the pandemic is that it was truly transformative and illuminating - personally and professionally - individual or enterprise.

Enterprises need to move forward beyond 2020/21 pandemic crisis with an updated and optimised strategy for growth, profitability and competitive strength. If you are to thrive - this plan is unlikely to look anything like the plan you had agreed upon in January 2020".

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