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Ask a Director Series: Corporate Directors Share Insights on the COVID-19 Crisis

Introduction: How Are Corporate Boards Responding to the COVID-19 Crisis?

Diligent Institute convened a virtual panel of experienced directors from different sectors to share their insights on modern governance practices during the COVID-19 crisis. The result is a five-part series providing their responses and suggestions for corporate boards.

Part 1: How Does Corporate Governance Change in a Crisis?

Different organizations are impacted by the COVID-19 crisis in different ways, based on factors including sector, location, size, and liquidity. Without exception, every company has been impacted in some way, and corporate governance has had to adapt accordingly. In the first part of our series, directors share what has changed most.

Part 2: How Should Management & Board Updates Be Handled During the Crisis?

For boards to provide oversight and have foresight of what’s coming “around the corner,” they require timely and relevant information from their management teams. However, directors do not want to distract or overburden their CEOs with requests for information, especially during a crisis. Part 2 explores how to find the right balance.

Part 3: What Is the Right Role for Directors During a Crisis?

Directors occupy a unique vantage point within the company. While management is running the day-to-day crisis response, directors can focus on the bigger picture, including where the “future of work” might be headed. In Part 3 of our series, panelists discuss how to provide the right support.

Part 4: What Are the Best Practices for Virtual Board Meetings?

Unique to the COVID-19 crisis is the sudden transition to “work from home.” For boards, virtual meetings have gone from an infrequent option to an absolute necessity. In Part 4 of our series, the panelists explored some of the nuances of virtual board meetings, the pros and the cons, and how to get the most out of them.

Part 5: What Corporate Responses to COVID-19 Made Directors Proud?

In a crisis at the scale of a global pandemic, the situation can feel daunting and hopeless. In Part 5 of our series, we wanted to know what was going right. We asked our panel to reflect on the aspect of their companies’ responses to COVID-19 that made them feel most proud, and the lessons learned for future crisis response.