Boston, MA, April 2, 2019 — FCLTGlobal, a not-for-profit organization that advocates for a longer-term focus in business and investment decision-making, is releasing a new whitepaper; Long-term Habits of a Highly Successful Corporate Board,which identifies proven steps corporate directors can take if they aim to be long-term leaders of corporate success. This includes:
- A heavier focus on strategic counsel, relative to other issues
- Purchasing and holding company stock through and beyond their tenure.
- Increased direct communication with the company’s long-term shareholder base.
- Ensuring the board is comprised of a diverse group of directors, with respect to both gender and age.
Globally, the typical board member serves longer than the CEO—7.7 years compared to 6.3—giving directors a wider perspective on a company’s current situation and trajectory into the years ahead. However, boards are not immune to short-term thinking – 47% of corporate executives report that their boards are actually an unexpected source of short-term pressure, and 60% of directors agreed they have a responsibility to tackle short-termism at their organizations.
“Focusing on long-term goals in the face of so many pressing demands is a challenge, but developing the right habits can ensure lasting success for directors and the companies they manage,” said Sarah Williamson, FCLTGlobal’s CEO. “Likewise, investors looking for companies with a real long-term vision can use these attributes of a board to gauge whether or not it is positioned to avoid short-term myopia.”
The report is coupled with a Time Visualization Meter, a unique digital dashboard designed by FCLTGlobal for corporate directors to assess their time allocation during board meetings. This input can be compared to other industry peers, as well as an average of long-term organizations as determined by FCLTGlobal’s research and data collection on the subject.
The report distills collective knowledge and experience of FCLTGlobal’s Members and other experts in the area of corporate board strategy. In addition to new recommendations, FCLTGlobal reassesses some of the common advice given to directors, on issues like overboarding and CEO–chair duality, where the evidence for long-term value creation is weak or contradictory.
This is the third in a series of papers from FCLTGlobal that looks at the role of the board of directors in a company’s overall long-term strategy. Long-term Boards in a Short-term World (2018) offers a practical toolkit meant to spark action at the board level. Where Boards Fall Short (2015) presents data showing that most directors prioritized short-term gain at the expense of creating long-term value.
FCLTGlobal is a 501(c)(3) not-for-profit dedicated to developing practical tools and approaches that encourage long-term behaviors in business and investment decision-making. It takes an active and market-based approach to achieve its goals. By conducting research and convening business leaders, FCLTGlobal develops tools and generates awareness of ways in which a longer-term focus can increase innovation, economic growth and future savings. FCLTGlobal was founded in 2016 by BlackRock, Canada Pension Plan Investment Board, The Dow Chemical Company, McKinsey & Company, and Tata Sons out of the Focusing Capital on the Long Term initiative. Its membership encompasses asset owners, asset managers and corporations from around the world. Please visit www.fcltglobal.org for more information.
Ross Parker, Communications Associate
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