Three-quarters of directors say the alignment of board talent with the company’s long-term strategy is a critical challenge for their board, and three in five cite a need for greater diversity of backgrounds and viewpoints on the board, according to a global survey by KPMG’s Audit Committee Institute. Survey respondents also cite significant barriers to refining the board’s makeup, from finding directors with the right mix of skills and overcoming “status quo” thinking to lack of formal succession plans.
“Having the right talent in the boardroom is critical to a company’s long-term success,” said Timothy Copnell, head of the UK Audit Committee Institute. “But achieving the right diversity of boardroom skills, backgrounds, and experiences to position the
To better understand how directors are thinking about the mix of skills, backgrounds, experiences, and perspectives in the boardroom—and tools and approaches to achieve the right mix—KPMG’s Audit Committee Institute surveyed more than 2,300 directors and senior executives across 46 countries.
Directors see significant room to refresh or refine the board’s makeup: only 36 percent said they are “satisfied,” and 49 percent “somewhat satisfied” that their board has the right combination of skills, background, and experiences to probe management’s strategic assumptions. The survey also identifies key challenges or barriers to building high-performing boards, as well as steps boards are taking to overcome these hurdles and position themselves as strategic assets for their companies.
The views and practices reported by UK audit committee members (as detailed in the survey report) closely mirrored the key global trends. Specifically, in the UK:
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