[New York] – June 24, 2017 – Major investors are demanding a younger presence in the boardroom for the digital skill sets and perspective they can bring to emerging areas of board oversight, including e-commerce, digital marketing and cybersecurity. To help equip these younger, often first-time directors to be effective in the boardroom, Spencer Stuart, Nasdaq, and Boardroom Resources jointly launched Next Gen Board Leaders (NGBL), an initiative designed to foster a community of current and aspiring directors to spark discussion around the challenges, opportunities, and contributions of a younger generation in today’s boardrooms.
Bridging a Gap Between Strategy and Composition
Today’s companies are tasked with new risks and new opportunities — from protecting sensitive customer data to building omnichannel marketing experiences. Next Gen Board Leaders aims to promote the natural diversification of skill sets that occurs when boards are regularly revisiting strategy and composition alignment.
"Institutional investors have been vocal about board composition," said Julie Daum, leader of Spencer Stuart’s North American Board Practice. "They simply want to know that boards have the right skill sets to guide and oversee today’s companies in their three-, five- and ten-year plan for value creation. Age diversity becomes an inevitable factor, as this younger generation of directors possesses extensive expertise on many of these fast-evolving strategic and governance issues."
At the core of the Next Gen Board Leaders community is the Advisory Council, a group of ten public company directors (all in their 30s and 40s) representing diversity of industry, geography, race, and gender. The advisory council will convene for the first time this month in a “mini-summit” at the Nasdaq MarketSite in New York City, where the group will candidly swap experiences and discuss governance issues through a generational lens.
Next Gen Board Leaders Advisory Council:
Caroline Tsay, Director with Morningstar & Rosetta Stone (Advisory Council Chair)
Dr. Anastassia Lauterbach, Director with Dun & Bradstreet
Bruce Bohuny, Director with Lakeland Bancorp
Christa Quarles, Director with Kimberly-Clark
David Bozeman, Director with Weyerhaeuser Corp.
Jennifer Dulski, Director with TEGNA
Michael Steib, Director with Ally Financial
Priya Cherian Huskins, Director with Realty Income Corporation
Sonya Medina Williams, Director with Papa John’s
Susan Chapman-Hughes, Director with Potbelly Corp.
Mini-summit discussions will be leveraged to create ongoing thought-leadership content, which will be collaboratively published to the Next Gen Board Leaders website throughout the year (www.NextGenBoardLeaders.com).
“I would like to see the group provide thought leadership on issues that boards do not necessarily dig into deep enough today,” said Caroline Tsay, 35-year-old board member for Rosetta Stone and Morningstar (also chair of the Advisory Council). “These issues may include changing business models, customer preferences, go-to-market plans, technology enablement, and organizational design.”
Special attention will also be paid to the inherent barriers of recruiting and assimilating this generation of younger, often first-time directors.
“We find that the onboarding process can often be improved,” said TK Kerstetter, CEO of Boardroom Resources and host of Inside America’s Boardrooms. “It’s also important to consider board dynamics, particularly when the average board member is about 20 to 30 years older than this new diverse subset of young directors. Ultimately, we want Next Gen Board Leaders to help boards understand how to recruit and assimilate younger directors to take best advantage of their skills.”
Directors, investors, and governance professionals of all ages are encouraged to join the conversation by subscribing to emails from Next Gen Board Leaders. A monthly newsletter will pose discussion questions, share editorials, and feature Q&A interviews with advisory council members.
"I’ve found that the most progress is made when a solution or conclusion incorporates the best of different perspectives and experiences," said Tsay. "We also need directors and governance professionals of all ages to join these ‘generational’ conversations, as it may mean that we all have to re-think the role of directors and how best to leverage and incorporate them."
About Spencer Stuart
At Spencer Stuart, we know how much leadership matters. We are trusted by organizations around the world to help them make the senior-level leadership decisions that have a lasting impact on their enterprises. Through our executive search, board and leadership advisory services, we help build and enhance high-performing teams for select clients ranging from major multinationals to emerging companies to nonprofit institutions.
Privately held since 1956, we focus on delivering knowledge, insight and results through the collaborative efforts of a team of experts — now spanning 56 offices, 30 countries and more than 50 practice specialties. Boards and leaders consistently turn to Spencer Stuart to help address their evolving leadership needs in areas such as senior-level executive search, board recruitment, board effectiveness, succession planning, in-depth senior management assessment and many other facets of organizational effectiveness.
Nasdaq (Nasdaq:NDAQ) is a leading global provider of trading, clearing, exchange technology, listing, information and public company services. Through its diverse portfolio of solutions, Nasdaq enables customers to plan, optimize and execute their business vision with confidence, using proven technologies that provide transparency and insight for navigating today’s global capital markets. As the creator of the world’s first electronic stock market, its technology powers more than 90 marketplaces in 50 countries, and 1 in 10 of the world’s securities transactions. Nasdaq is home to 3,800 total listings with a market value of $11 trillion. To learn more, visit: http://business.nasdaq.com.
About Boardroom Resources
Boardroom Resources is an educational platform for board members, corporate secretaries, and governance professionals. We produce content across several formats, including weekly blog posts, events, email newsletters, and a web show called “Inside America’s Boardrooms”. Our charge started many years ago, as founder TK Kerstetter has long been on a mission to improve board performance — particularly by creating new board education formats and sparking conversations that push the envelope. Now, Boardroom Resources is focused on connecting the dots between longstanding board practices, new ideas, and the personal experiences of today’s corporate directors. Today’s companies are in a constant state of evolution, and the same should be true for today’s boards of directors. To learn more, visit: www.boardroomresources.com.