Korn Ferry Survey Finds Directors Eager to Add Needed Skills But Reluctant to Change Current Board
One-third of survey respondents say their board as currently constituted is not adequate to meet the company’s competitive needs, and more than half are eager to add directors with these missing skills. Further, nearly two-thirds indicate that they have identified new skills (financial, global, regulatory, and cybersecurity top the list) that they consider competitively necessary to have on their boards.
But 69 percent indicate they are satisfied with their current board composition, and only one in four favors term limits or enforced retirement ages that might open up seats.
The survey was completed in June, and the 156 respondents comprised board chairs and nominating governance committee chairs.
“The current proxy season was distinguished by a record number of
shareholder proposals seeking proxy access and a say in the director
nominating process, and directors themselves recognize the need for new
skills on the board,” said
Additional top-line findings from the survey include:
- Major change experienced across sectors: 62 percent of directors believe their industry is facing a greater or similar degree of transformational change compared to other industries, with technology viewed as the most significant driver. 85 percent of respondents agreed that “New technologies are transforming our industry.”
- Perceived change is driving the need for new directors: 82 percent of respondents agree, “We plan to add directors in the next few years and will have the opportunity to do so.”
- Integration and onboarding of new directors must be addressed: While 86 percent of respondents recognize that first-time directors require additional support, 21 percent indicate that their board requires a change in culture to integrate new board members, and 42 percent agree that their board needs to work on better integrating new members.
For Korn Ferry