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The power of constructive disharmony in the boardroom 

IbyIMD+ Published 30 March 2023 in Audio articles • 9 min read • Audio availableAudio available

In challenging times, appointing supervisory board leaders from across the generations can lead to more creative problem solving. 

If you’ve ever attended an annual general meeting, the likelihood is that the supervisory board sitting on the stage was made up of older men in suits. Yet as investors’ calls for greater board diversity grow louder, one overlooked aspect is now coming under the spotlight: age. 

Over the past 20 years, boards have increasingly had to handle new topics – from ESG to cybersecurity and digitalization – and are expected to have more controversial discussions that could lead to constructive solutions. If everybody on the board looks – and thinks – the same, it won’t be able to fulfill its mandate to confront the challenges of the future.  

There are some positive trends. The 2022 US Spencer Stuart Board Index found that many boards were considering how to achieve the right balance between youth and experience. Just over a third of new board directors appointed to companies in the S&P 500 are serving on their first public company board, and directors aged under 50 account…

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