Business and Markets

Planning for a New Reality: Agenda for the Prepared Board

July 6, 2023  • Business and Society Program

Download Publication
View this Publication
Download PDF

As issues at the intersection of business and society grow in importance in the definition of corporate strategy, so does the need for executives and directors to interrogate how these concerns intersect with business decision-making, and the long-term health of the enterprises they serve.   

Business leaders today are seeking to better understand their corporate purpose and fiduciary duties, and to respond to the varied but important demands of employees, partners, and the public.  Evolving—and sometimes conflicting—public and investor expectations of firms add complexity to governance and decision-making; they require fresh thinking in boardrooms, and at all levels of the business. 

Planning for a New Reality: Agenda for the Prepared Board is designed to advance boardroom dialogue about long term value creation at a time of rapid change.  

Agenda for the Prepared Board brings us back to business principles, i.e., the corporation’s purpose, its business model, and what matters most to the success of the business now and in the future. We hope that seven key perspectives articulated in the Agenda, along with questions to prompt discussion, will be useful for directors as they consider the urgent demands of employees, elected officials, and the concerned public looking for answers from the business sector. 

The Agenda was researched and written with the consistent support and collaboration of David Young of BCG. We sought and benefited from input and feedback from dozens of corporate directors, executives in business, finance, and professional services, and NGO and trade advocates who advise on business strategy and policy. Together they helped elevate the most important questions and illuminate a better path forward across a spectrum of concerns at the intersection of business and society.   

We’re excited to “soft launch” the Agenda at the ESG Summit, in advance of our public launch in the fall. We’re eager to get your ideas and input about how to make sure we can identify the right distribution platforms for our intended audience, and how we can shape the Agenda into a key resource for the next generation of board leadership.