WCD Board Strategy Briefing: Issue 3

When a tech giant like Google enters the home-delivery business, boards recognize that their agility and ability to innovate are critical to their company’s very survival. 

Recognizing the need to adapt quickly to market disruption, “Agility and Innovation” was the theme of the 2015 WomenCorporateDirectors Global Institute. The spring event brought together 250 directors, board chairs, CEOs and other governance experts to KPMG LLP and JPMorgan Chase headquarters in New York. 

Directors shared their experiences in helping companies adjust to the technology, globalization and societal shifts that are disrupting business models in every industry. Estelle Metayer, director of France’s Ubisoft Entertainment SA and Canada’s BRP (Bombardier Recreational Products) Inc., moderated a panel about specific ways companies have used their agility to not only endure but take advantage of disruption and expand into new markets. 

The “complexity matrix” is how Metayer described the new challenges directors face as they seek to navigate new technologies, new customer needs, new regulations and new distribution channels— simultaneously. Addressing this complexity matrix, the panel – “Anticipating Needs: What Directors Need to Know about the Next Marketplaces and Business Models” – featured these corporate leaders: 

Nancy Calderon (United States): a global lead partner for KPMG LLP; director, Global Delivery Center, Ltd., KPMG India; director, the WCD Foundation; co-author of Women on Board 

Yoko Ishikura (Japan): professor emeritus, Hitotsubashi University; non-executive director of Nissin Foods Holdings, Lifenet Insurance Co. and Sojitz Corporation; WCD member 

Former U.S. Congresswoman Lynn Schenk (United States): director, Sempra Energy, Biogen; board commissioner, California High Speed Rail Authority; member, Board of Trustees of the Scripps Research Institute; WCD member 

Alison Winter (United States): director, Nordstrom, Inc.; lead director of Blain’s Farm and Fleet; co-founder, WCD 

In this WCD Board Strategy Briefing, sponsored by KPMG LLP, we highlight the key takeaways from the discussion. As companies everywhere grapple with constant and accelerating change, directors can bring back to their boards specific insights to help organizations through transformations large and small. 

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