Lynn Beauregard, President, GPC; Dottie Schindlinger, Executive Director of the Diligent Institute, Diligent.
Resiliency is born out of careful and calculated scenario planning, regular reviews, risk tolerance assessments, and contingency plans. This session offers insight on how these are deployed, and answers questions such as what is the role that Boards need to play in risk assessment and crisis management? How to use the role of the Governance Professional as the hub for risk and crisis management?
Moderator: Geoffrey Creighton, Chief Executive Officer, In-House Counsel Worldwide and EGA Judges Panel Chair
Panel: Nancy Hopkins, Chair, Governance and Nominating Committee and Chair, Building Committee, Arthritis Society; Suzanne Gouin, Board Chair, Canada Revenue Agency; Dottie Schindlinger, Executive Director of the Diligent Institute, Diligent.
The role of the board in value creation and strategic oversight is elemental, so is the board's role in setting standards for a value creation process and leading management to develop an optimal value creation plan. This session offers insights on how three organizations have leveraged strategic planning to set their Boards and organizations for success.
Moderator: Matt Fullbrook, Manager, David & Sharon Johnston Centre for Corporate Governance Innovation
Panel: Todd Winterhalt, SVP Communications & Corporate Strategy, Export Development Canada; Diane Pettie, Chair of Governance and Conduct Review Committee, ATB Financial; Kelli Littlechilds, CEO, Alberta School Employee Benefit Plan
1. With the significant increase in meeting frequency, how did you balance the additional time commitments of preparing formal agenda, preparing materials/presentations, Board briefing packs, formal meeting minutes, etc? Or did some of those additional/interim meetings take a more informal/update form?
A short, standardized agenda was adopted to reduce the agenda development cycle and ensure the Board received routine updates on material items;
2. Did you feel you had the right board composition to deal with the pandemic? Going forward, would you advise/consider a different mix of skills and aptitudes on the board?
3. Is it a good practice to include the stakeholders (e.g., shareholders, members) in the strategy planning process to get their insights? If so, to what extent? Does anyone of these three organizations have experience including the stakeholders in the process?
Insights from key stakeholders – i.e. those that have a vested interest in the success of EDC (customers, shareholder, employees, delivery partners, etc.) and have firsthand knowledge on what it takes to be successful – are especially valuable in the early stages of the planning process. They have helped us understand their needs, the operating environment, and how EDC can deliver greater impact.
We engaged stakeholders through multiple channels including, as examples, external research, surveys, direct consultations and test labs.
4. Is an external facilitator always necessary for strategic planning?
It has served us well to know when to leverage an external facilitator when a more objective or neutral lens is necessary to tackle difficult issues, and when to leverage an internal facilitator when in-house expertise and knowledge is better suited to advance the discussion.
D&I is a series of steps along a journey that sets out measurable objectives, reports, talent succession practices, competency, and skills assessments, instigating an organizational culture of inclusion, and more. This session looks at some practical steps taken in organizations, who take Diversity and Inclusion very seriously, and want to move the dial on their practices.
Moderator: Elizabeth Watson, CEO and Founder, WATSON Advisors Inc.
Panel: Linda Seymour, Group General Manager, President and CEO, HSBC Bank Canada; Wendy Kei, Board Chair, Ontario Power Generation; Anna Tudela, Board Member and Independent Consultant
1. Have you been able to demonstrate bottom line results derived from a diverse board and management team?
2. Can you please speak in more details how you started developing your targets and metrics? Did you have a focused task force or?
3. Same idea - what standard should the Board be aiming for, e.g. diversity that mirrors local populations, stakeholders, etc.?
4. Do you think we should have legislation requiring 50% women?
6. Our board is doing well from the gender perspective, but it is harder to move the dial with the focused inclusion of race and indigenous. Any advice?
7. Recently a female CEO said that “Complex, generational issues are never effectively solved through singular solutions. The enthusiasm to make things better by applying quotas at the most senior levels of organizations is a quick fix working the wrong end of the pipeline". What are your thoughts?
8. Is the need for achieving diversity leading to an increase in the size of your board?
9. What actions has your organization taken to ensure that your work environment is a safe, accepting, and inclusive space for the LGBTQ community?
10. How do you address retention (as opposed to pipeline)? What do you watch for in turnover for Board and staff?
Organizations that demonstrate effective ESG oversight and practices, are likelier to thrive, especially in the time of COVID and other systemic challenges. Many boards and organizations still struggle to enhance their competency in this area. This session showcases emerging trends and practices that support Board processes, and that instill and support an ESG culture across the organization.
Moderator: Sylvia Groves, President, Governance Studio
Panel: Janet Taylor, Corporate Secretary and Coach, Libro Credit Union; Simon Fish, Special Advisor to the CEO on Sustainability, BMO Financial Group; Judy Cotte, CEO, ESG Global Advisors Inc.
1. Can government organizations be lean and B-corp certified? who manages these certifications?
2. How are your companies dealing the problem of executive compensation and the social inequality it creates?
3. For Janet re: BCorp certification: which third party standard do you apply to your reporting? Also, what quantifiable metrics can you point to that show increased value of the business itself? And finally, do you see challenges for directors in meeting the broader standard of fiduciary duties (inclusive of all stakeholders, not just shareholders)?
As a credit union, we are well positioned to have our directors meet broader standards of fiduciary duty to stakeholders. Co-operative principles and the credit union business model are aligned with this movement. When reviewing proposed changes to bylaws to formalize this inclusive standard we saw no change in how we conduct business but rather a formal and public statement of how we have been doing business all along.
4. The Dey-Kaplan report elevated the role of the board in oversight of the company's stakeholder relationships. Can you comment on how the board might have oversight of the company's stakeholder relationships and why that might be important in creating / protecting long-term value?
1. Being involved in defining stakeholder groups.
2. Requiring periodic updates on market trends within those stakeholder groups.
3. Requesting information on stakeholder impact in management reporting and proposals.
As a B Corp, Libro is committed to considering stakeholders in its decision making. We believe that we are successful when our stakeholders are successful. It is through this mutually beneficial relationship that value is created.
This category showcases three organizations that have demonstrated unique approaches as well as innovative and resilient practices in corporate governance overall. These have not only have made them stand out, but has added value to their organizations, their stakeholders, and their ability to thrive in these unprecedented times and events.
Moderator: Gigi Dawe, Director, Corporate Oversight & Governance, CPA Canada
Panel: Trish Barbato, President & CEO, Arthritis Society; Maureen Reid, Co-chair, Advancement Committee and Past-Chair of the Board of Governors, Halifax Grammar School; Colleen Ouellette, Board Secretary, Canada Revenue Agency