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Best of the Best: Key Takeaways from the Annual Corporate Governance Best Practices Survey

September 27, 2023

Posted in: WATSON Speaks, WATSON Views

Recently, WATSON collaborated with Compensation Governance Partners (CGP) and Governance Professionals of Canada (GPC) on the 10th Annual Corporate Governance Best Practices Survey. We heard from governance professionals at over 40 Canadian organizations across multiple industries and sectors who gave us insight into the current corporate governance landscape.

On Tuesday, September 26, WATSON Partner Manijeh Colabella and CGP’s Christopher Chen held a webinar highlighting many of the key trends coming out of the survey.  In case you didn’t have a chance to make it to the webinar, we rounded up a few of the key takeaways and considerations your board can make to grow and improve your approach to governance.

Continue to focus on ESG, DEI, and Emerging Technologies

  • Review board structures and practices to ensure there is effective oversight of these areas, always keeping your purpose and strategy in mind.
  • What gets measured gets done. Work with management to develop robust metrics in these areas, and ensure the board receives regular reporting.
  • Weave these important topics into your board education plan. Don’t have a board education plan? This is your sign to build one.

Focus on CEO and Talent Succession

  • Does your board have a CEO succession plan in place? We were surprised to see how many boards don’t. This is a critical role, so if you don’t have a thoughtful plan in place, you should make this a priority.
  • Look for opportunities to connect with management beyond the CEO. It helps foster a greater sense of trust and helps the board gain insight into some aspects of organizational resilience.

Align with Management on Risk and Mitigation Efforts

  • Discuss risk regularly – not just once a year – and incorporate some element of risk reporting into CEO reports.
  • Conduct tabletop exercises around known risks (including scenario planning) and brainstorm future potential risks to the organization.

Overall, the survey results indicate that Canadian boards are applying a high degree of focus and care to their governance, but there’s always room to grow. If you could use some guidance in applying the best practices that are best for your board, WATSON is here to help.

Curious about the full Corporate Governance Best Practices Survey results? GPC members receive a full copy of the report. Learn more about becoming a GPC member and the benefits associated here.