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Essential boardroom skills in times of crisis 

IbyIMD+Published 9 April 2024 in Governance • 5 min read • Audio availableAudio available

Board’s eye view: When the going gets tough, the behavior and decisions of board members can heavily influence the fate of companies and have far-reaching repercussions.

In Greek mythology, Eunomia, the goddess of good order, is said to have inspired the renowned Athens legislator Solon to transform the city into a model of good governance. She is said to have reminded Solon that legislation should serve the people, not the privileged few, leading him to introduce a new set of more humane laws. Today, the supervisory board plays a similar role, holding management to account and ensuring that they follow legal and ethical standards that benefit shareholders and society.

Increasingly, they have their work cut out. The Enron scandal in 2001, the problems that Boeing faced with its 737 Max plane around the turn of the current decade and, more recently, the collapse of Credit Suisse in March 2023 are all prominent examples of crises that demanded immediate, tough, and strategic action by board directors. In such cases, beyond robust systems and processes, individual behavior and decisions can shape the fate of entire companies and send…

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