Preparing for 2015

Boards look set to face their biggest test since the global financial crisis (GFC) in the coming year, with a sluggish global economy, regulatory confusion, and higher volatility likely to be a recurring theme for directors.

The latest issue of Company Director magazine has warned directors and high-performing boards to plan for heightened levels of change and greater volatility by focusing on how their organisations would adapt to significant, unforeseen, and fast change. 

It has also urged directors to consider whether their executive teams are well suited to the task.

Key areas of focus in the next 12 months should consider how a trillion-dollar money printing experiment by central banks will end; whether Europe will have another financial shock; and if Chinese growth will disappoint. In addition, war in parts of the Middle East, a greater terrorism threat, volatile commodity and currency markets, and the Ebola virus all add to the geopolitical risks facing business and boardrooms. 

Last year, directors nominated the impact of technology on business models, innovation, the Australian economy, the new federal government, mergers and acquisitions, board diversity and executive pay as key governance challenges. 

While each of these are also relevant today, the great challenge for next year will be dealing with the unknown rather than the known, with the top five board challenges for 2015 cited as organisational culture, executive leadership, the global economy, growing uncertainty and the resources sector.

To read the full article, please see the latest issue of Company Director magazine.