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Leadership priorities for the board in 2021 and beyond

The C-Suite: 2021 and Beyond

What’s changed for Boards?

Pre-COVID, Boards were highly focused on dedicating time to long term strategic planning. The upheaval of the pandemic has shown that this clear strategic vision must also be accompanied by the organisational resilience to cope with rapid changes and system shocks.

To meet this challenge, governance must be updated: 59% of Board members say they need to prepare for a new governance model.

Digitalisation will be at the heart of Board-level thinking across every aspect of organisational strategy, with 65% identifying AI as a core area of learning required to be ready for the digital world of work.

Board Mega Themes


ESG in its broadest sense is expected to dominate Board agendas and provide the momentum for change. Purpose, governance, active inclusion, climate and sustainability are the new priorities.

Human Capital

Hear from peer level speakers who are best-in-class and discuss your experiences and challenges.

Innovation, Risk & Agility

Innovation, resilience and agility are the new operational buzzwords. Organisations must reassess their risks, be able to deal with disruption and invest in business model and technology resilience, whilst not suffocating the organisation.

Customer & Digital

Success will go to those that keep the customer at the heart of a productive business model and have the strongest digital infrastructure.

Governance & Leadership

New styles of leadership, and potentially new leaders, are required to successfully navigate the fragmented new world of business.
Explore these themes further at one of our Non-Executive Director Network events

Debbie Hewitt MBE

“Boards are likely to be focused on their companies’ agility to deal with disruption as well as the ability to invest in the long-term growth. There is a sense that the next few years is going to see the success of the digitally fittest.

Keeping the customer at the heart of the business model will be evermore essential. ESG will provide the critical context for Board priorities and the momentum for change here has the potential to make a very positive difference for those Boards who sincerely embrace and embed.”

Debbie Hewitt MBE, NED/Chair, Visa Europe, BGL Group, Moss Bros Group, The Restaurant Group, White Stuff, Redrow Group and Domestic & General

Debbie Hewitt MBE, NED / Chair, Visa Europe, BGL Group, Moss Bros Group, The Restaurant Group, White Stuff, Redrow Group and Domestic & General.

Board Challenges & Opportunities 2021

As Boards lead their organisation through 2021 and beyond, what are the key challenges they must confront and what opportunities can they exploit?
  1. New governance and committee models post-COVID; and the evolving role of NEDs

  2. A new Business Continuity Model – ensuring liquidity and financial stability

  3. Ensuring a strategic Board focus with clear purpose and values

  4. Digitalisation and its impact on work and innovation

  5. Using data to understand customers and enhance their experience

  6. Risk: state sponsored cyber-attacks, geopolitical instability and the world beyond Brexit

Dame Janet Gaymer DBE QC

“Boards contemplating the lessons of the pandemic will be revisiting long established decision-making processes and their organisations afresh. Planning for continuing and future disruption will lead to a reassessment of risk management criteria.

To retain critical human capital, employee well-being and preferences will be balanced with business requirements. A focus on purpose and values will highlight increased emphasis on culture.

Accelerated use of technology, digitalisation and new ways of working will provide an opportunity to reconfigure operations and increase productivity.”

Dame Janet Gaymer, DBE, QC, NED, Business Banking Resolution Service, UCL and Excello Law

Dame Janet Gaymer, DBE, QC, NED, Business Banking Resolution Service, UCL and Excello Law

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It’s time for the C-Suite to look beyond ‘normal’. Time to build a resilient organisation with a purpose, business model, skills, resources and strategic direction fit for the new future. Find out how C-Suite leaders are prioritising their leadership agenda.

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