The New Board Game: Blog 1 – What’s new?

The New Board Game

How to adapt, behave and relate in the post-pandemic boardroom

Blog 1 – What’s new?

Nothing, fundamentally, you could argue.

– the scorekeeping is the same

– the FTSE, NYSE, DAX etc. haven’t changed their calculus a jot

– accounting rules remain, largely, unchanged

– EBITDA means the same now as it did before the pandemic

– Ditto ROI

– company law is broadly the same

– so, boardroom behaviour in regard to these factors hasn’t had to change.

– Why would it?

– what’s measured continues to be delivered

But the context has changed, irrevocably

– the ESG wagons were rolling long before the pandemic, now they’re picking up speed because of it

– impact investing, green-washed or not, has notched trillions

– companies that take state aid and ignore the environment, society and governance issues are attracting the spotlight

– state bailouts have scotched the notion that business is somehow apart from the state and society

– gladiators of capitalism – The Financial Times, Larry Fink, The Business Roundtable etc. are all talking about relaunching capitalism

– young people are, to use an Americanism, seriously pissed with corporate behaviour

– above all, customers, employees and supply chains are demanding change.

If you are a member of a board – main or management – or aspiring to be one, then you have a choice: either you wait for the game and it’s rules to change officially or you decide that the game has already changed and the rules will catch up in due course and you start to adapt your behaviour to the new game now, or not.

Ciarán Fenton

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