The Board Report:

Navigating the New World of Stakeholder Governance

From Covid-19, through to Black Lives Matter and Brexit, boards are spending more time reacting to external forces than proactively shaping them, and at the core of these matters are stakeholder issues. Good stakeholder governance presents a unique opportunity for boards to take control of their agendas and be the good custodians they want to be.

We reached out to board members, governance professionals, CEOs, and chairs to understand how they're dealing with stakeholder conversations. What we found from our survey and in-depth interviews indicates boards are largely behind where they'd like to be. Here are the key reasons why:

  • Key stakeholders (shareholder, customers, and employees) dominate the agenda — and in doing so, are leaving hazardous blind spots for other stakeholders. 
  • Suppliers, community, and the environment are largely invisible because boards see little relationship between these stakeholders and financial results.
  • Agendas are already overloaded, meaning that many boards only afford an annual glance at stakeholder governance requirements.


Download our report for the full findings.

“The Covid-19 crisis is concentrating people’s minds. This is an opportunity for organisations to realise that strategy and execution are critical for survival and stakeholders are a key part of that. Effective stakeholder governance provides an opportunity to differentiate and gain competitive advantage.”
~ Non-Executive Director & Chair, UK

Stakeholders Are On the Boards Mind

Stakeholders are increasingly front of mind for boards and the coronavirus pandemic has accelerated this trend. Purpose-driven organisations were nearly 3 times more likely to focus on their stakeholders as a result of the Covid-19 crisis than companies that don’t identify as purpose-driven.

of boards
have discussed improving stakeholder governance.
of boards
say Covid-19 strengthened their commitment to their stakeholders.

But Not In the Boards Plan

Most boards are committed to improving stakeholder governance but only a fraction have a clear plan on how to do this. Not all stakeholders are treated as integral to strategic planning and stakeholder KPIs tend to be an assessment of the past, rather than the drivers of the future.

of boards
don’t cover how their community feels about them.
of boards
don’t have a clearly defined Corporate Social Responsibility strategy.
of boards
don’t have a clearly defined Environmental, Social & Corporate Governance strategy.

Get Your Stakeholders On Board

Your stakeholders are not merely another item to add to the agenda, they’re an integral part of your organisation’s strategy and operations. Find out how to embed your stakeholders into your strategy and board reporting below:

The Board Intelligence Platform

Keep Your Stakeholders In Focus

With the Board Intelligence platform, it’s easy to ensure your stakeholders are at the heart of every board discussion and decision. Find out how Board Intelligence can help you embed your stakeholders into every aspect of your board meeting from the board agenda through to board papers and external reporting.

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