At the same time, pandemic-accelerated shifts in the political, social, and economic spheres put a spotlight on corporate purpose and strategy. While key corporate stakeholders granted a partial “Covid Truce” in 2020, companies and boards now face new standards of accountability and new expectations of corporate behavior. Boards must assess new risks to company strategy and consider corporate responses to subjects such as equality, diversity, sustainability, and relationship with governments.

In this environment, general counsel need to ensure their board has the oversight, skills, knowledge, and processes necessary to effectively advise the organization through disruption and change. That will mean advising on changing expectations of corporate behavior, on managing directors as a strategic asset, and on building resilient board processes. Gartner identified six guiding principles through which general counsel can improve board effectiveness in 2021.

  • ESG is the process by which to consider shareholder expectations