Better Boardrooms

“As we consider the shape of business in a post-pandemic world, Better Boardrooms is crucial reading for both current and future directors to take their role of strategic governance and leadership to a new level.” – Barbara G. Stymiest, Corporate Director and Former Member of the Group Executive, Royal Bank of Canada

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Q3 2020 hedge fund letters, conferences and more

Better Boardrooms Offers a Model of Sound Corporate Governance for a Post-Pandemic World

TORONTO – Although disruptive changes to the fundamental structure of global economic, social, and political systems have been taking place for decades, they’ve been dramatically accelerated recently by the coronavirus pandemic. When we emerge from lockdown, the world is going to look strikingly different than it did at the dawn of 2020. For instance, our banking systems will have finally crossed the digital divide between the industrial era and the information age. If financial and business leaders want to thrive in the post-pandemic economy, they need to rethink and revise their company’s approach to corporate governance

In Better Boardrooms: Repairing Corporate Governance for the 21st Century, award-winning author Patricia Meredith contends that company directors must prepare to face a series of governance challenges if they are to have legitimacy in the information age. While the board’s core responsibilities remain much the same as they were fifty years ago, she advises directors to approach them in a new way. Successful businesses are increasingly marked by a small but engaged group of directors who never stop learning about the fast-changing world and applying these findings to policies and practices throughout the company.

Instead of simply ratifying management’s plans, Meredith argues that boards should take an active part in a continuous and far-reaching dialogue with all stakeholders. They need to look for potential problems on all fronts. If necessary, boards have to trigger a transformative process that engages a wide range of voices and empowers them to envision and achieve a desired outcome. Within this framework, a diverse group of players can innovate and act on a series of initiatives to deal with disruptive change. Boards play, in Meredith’s words, “a catalytic role” by driving the process forward and monitoring its implementation

Better Boardrooms is the third of three thematically-linked books by Meredith. In her first book, Catalytic Governance: Leading Change in the Information Age (co-authored by Steve Rosell and Ged Davis), she offers a proven approach to managing transformative change. Her follow-up book, Stumbling Giants: Transforming Canada’s Banks for the Information Age (co-authored with James Darroch) reveals that Canadian banks are ill-prepared to navigate the technology tsunami overtaking financial services, and was awarded the prestigious Donner Prize for the Best Public Policy Book by a Canadian.

In Better Boardrooms, Meredith lays out a comprehensive model of sound governance for the information age based on a collaborative approach which ensures all relevant voices are heard. As boundaries between industries blur and stakeholders gain greater access to information, it is vital that policymakers and regulators, customers and suppliers, investors and managers work together to fix broken boardrooms.

PATRICIA MEREDITH is a Fellow at the David & Sharon Johnston Centre for Governance Innovation at the Rotman School of Management, University of Toronto, and a Senior Fellow at the Centre for International Governance Innovation, University of Waterloo. Her previous book Stumbling Giants, co-authored with James L. Darroch, was the Winner of the 2018 Donner Prize for the Best Public Policy Book by Canadian authors. – Select Advance Praise For Better Boardrooms: Repairing Corporate Governance For The 21st Century

“We don’t appreciate good corporate governance enough – until we don’t have it. Drawing on examples from her extensive knowledge of corporate strategy and practice, Patricia Meredith provides an insightful account of what an ideal might look like. This is especially important during a time of transition in corporate cultures, grappling as they are with the wrenching changes brought on by digital technologies and the growth of the intangible economy, and by the imperative to consider not just the short-term interests of shareholders but the sometimes competing and sometimes complementary interests of stakeholders. A smart board would guide management to see and deal with what’s around the corner. Patricia Meredith does just this for the reader.” – Rohinton P. Medhora, President and CEO, Centre for International Governance Innovation

“This well-written, highly readable book on strategic risk management and governance in this rapidly evolving digital age should occupy a prominent place on the bookshelf of every corporate director. Meredith makes a compelling case to replace the current ‘shackles of hierarchy’ with more networked forms of management and governance in order to deal with both the threats and the opportunities inherent in disruptive change.” – David Dodge, Senior Advisor, Bennett Jones LLP

Publication Date: November 2020

Cloth | ISBN 9781442649750 | $34.95

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