Devoting quality time to strategy and thinking about the future have never been more challenging or important as technology, innovation, and other forces disrupt and undermine business models and strategic assumptions with startling speed and impact.
Lead directors are uniquely positioned to create the “right” level of engagement and facilitate quality boardroom discussions on strategy. KPMG interviewed a number of lead directors to tap into their insights. Those conversations, conducted under the Chatham House Rule, surfaced practical techniques and approaches that all lead directors can apply.
At the end of the day, it’s management’s strategy. But the long-held view that the board’s role is limited to reviewing and concurring with the strategy is giving way to deeper engagement by the board. Increasingly complex and disruptive business conditions demand it, and investors and other stakeholders expect it.
The extent of the board’s engagement in strategy—and the lead director’s role—will vary by company and the lead director’s approach, from a light touch to more active leadership.
Stressing the importance of working with the CEO and board to find the right depth and dynamics, the lead directors we spoke with emphasized three key areas of focus for lead directors as they facilitate their board’s engagement in the strategy process, from strategy development and evaluation to monitoring strategic execution and recalibrating strategy as necessary: