Skip to main content

On the board’s agenda

Topical issues for boards of directors globally

In today’s business world of new advancements and shifts in technology, globalization and demographics, boards face the challenge of ensuring their organizations are effectively and appropriately aligning themselves to succeed in this “new world of work.” On the board’s agenda is a series of articles set to be released every 6-8 weeks and will share insights on how boards can surge their organizations forward both cohesively and successfully while facing the challenges of today. Each issue will examine a single topic in detail, and will include the perspectives of a Deloitte professional with deep expertise in the subject matter as well as the views of an experienced external expert on the topic.

Global On the board’s agenda: Stepping in: The board’s role in crisis management

To obtain additional information and insights on corporate governance topics please visit our Global Center for Corporate Governance website.

A good crisis response is, of course, about swiftly addressing what has gone wrong, but it is also about being externally focused—communicating to stakeholders, shareholders, regulators— and it is about making big decisions that have a significant impact on the future of the organization. It should be an integral part of the wider organization’s resilience measures and not simply something to deploy when all other options have failed.

There are actions boards can take now—and questions they can ask—to give themselves comfort that the organization is prepared to manage a crisis. When the stakes are high and scrutiny is intense, the board has a unique role. Stepping in may be uncomfortable, but stepping aside is not an option.

On the board’s agenda | September 2019

View or Download the agenda 

The board’s role in corporate social purpose |  (US)

Corporate social purpose is broader than traditional corporate social responsibility activities and encompasses how the core business delivers positive economic, social, and environmental impact in the world. This On the Board’s Agenda explores how social purpose strategies, programs, and investments can be important assets, and how boards might enhance their oversight of their companies’ social purpose roles and actions.

On the board's Agenda | July 2018

View or download the agenda 

Industry 4.0 | (US)

The integration of digital and physical technologies is accelerating, enhancing companies’ ability to increase operational excellence and grow in ways that may not have been possible just a couple of years ago. This phenomenon, known as Industry 4.0, suggests a new revolution that enables smart, connected technologies to transform organizations, operations, and the workforce by increasing information flow, creating new insights, and revolutionizing business models.

On the board's Agenda | June 2018

View the agenda 

Corporate culture risk and the board | (US)

Recent corporate scandals linked to problematic company cultures have resulted in questions such as "where was the board?" and "shouldn’t the board have known?" In some cases, board members themselves may have wondered why they were not informed of cultural problems and asked, "should we have conducted more due diligence?" These and similar questions, and the responsibility to protect both their companies’ and their own reputations, are leading directors to look for ways to better monitor corporate culture and to understand potential cultural risks and address problems before they get out of control.

On the Board’s Agenda | April 2018

View or download the agenda

On the board’s agenda Sustainability and the board: What do directors need to know in 2018?

Sustainability, which encompasses environmental, social, and governance (ESG) concerns, is increasingly positioned at the top of board agendas, and is now central to corporate competitiveness and a company’s continued ability to operate. Sustainability affects all sectors and challenges even the most progressive companies and the most thoughtful directors.

Deloitte sees sustainability securing more time at and in between board meetings, in part because there is no single, standardized approach to incorporating ESG into boardroom discussions on business strategy and risk. The stakes are high, and directors need to act now to recognize sustainability as a fundamental element of their stewardship and fiduciary role.

There are a number of steps boards can consider and questions they can ask to gain a better command of emerging sustainability risks and changing stakeholder expectations—to read more please download this edition of our On the board’s agenda series.

On the Board’s Agenda | March 2018

View or download the agenda

Cyber risk in the boardroom: Accelerating from acceptance to action | (US)

Cyber risk is a top-level business risk that boards may find challenging to oversee and difficult to address. By using a maturity mode for board stewardship of cyber risk and understanding the actions available at each level of maturity, boards can accelerate their transition from awareness to meaningful oversight.

On the Board’s Agenda | February 2018

View or download the agenda 

Previous on the board's agenda


Organizational Culture: Recognizing signs of a toxic culture

Welcome to the new issue of On the board’s agenda, a publication where we focus on topical issues of importance to directors.

In this issue

Obtaining a clear understanding of an organization’s culture and mitigating its culture-related risks isn’t easy. James L. Goodfellow, a director of Canadian Tire Corporation and co-author of Integrity in the Spotlight: Audit Committees in a High Risk World and of Disclosure and Certification — What’s at Stake? and Vernoica Melian, Deloitte’s global CulturePath leader, examine the challenges organizations face when assessing their culture and its potential risks, such as:

  • The culture spectrum – Organizational cultures can range from good to toxic. In this issue, we identify some warning signs of cultures at risk of becoming toxic.
  • Cultural indicators –We identify some of the key organizational statistics and other sources of information that together can help provide organizations with a picture of their culture.

Considerations for the board – Boards have an important role to play in guiding their organizations’ culture. Learn some of the practices for directors to consider to ensure their oversight of culture is effective, and how they contribute to the organization’s “tone at the top.” Click here to begin learning how you can gain a clearer understanding of your organization’s culture. 

On the board's Agenda | May 2017

View or download the agenda 



Governance in a multidimensional environment

For decades, organizations established subsidiaries to expand their operations, move into new markets, or protect themselves against risk. However, often times, companies pay little attention to their subsidiary governance practices that not only impact governance polices at the parent organization, but at their subsidiaries as well.

In this issue…

Olivia Kirtley, a non-executive director of U.S. Bancorp, Papa John’s International, and ResCare, Inc., and president of the International Federation of Accountants and Dan Konigsburg, Managing Director, Global Center for Corporate Governance, Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu Limited, examine the multidimensional environment of subsidiary governance and highlight leading practices organizations are taking to better align the governance of parents and their subsidiaries.

On The Board's Agenda | October 2016

View or download the issue 

Effective anti-fraud and anti-corruption programs: Mitigating the threat of fraud and corruption

Directors may be personally liable if they are found to have been less than diligent in carrying out their responsibilities for ensuring that management puts in place effective anti-fraud and anti-corruption programs.

In this issue…

David Doyle, chief compliance officer, Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide, and Anthony Campanelli, partner, Regulatory, Forensics, & Compliance, Deloitte Financial Advisory Services LLP, discuss mitigating fraud risks and the importance of an effective whistleblower program. Today, when the typical organization loses five percent of its revenues to fraud and corruption each year, and regulators are taking an increasingly aggressive stance in enforcing anti-corruption laws, directors may be found personally liable if they are found to be less than diligent in carrying out their responsibilities for ensuring that management puts in place effective anti-fraud and anti-corruption programs and controls. You can view our previous On the board's agenda issues focused on Third-Party Risk, Private Company Governance, Base Erosion & Profit Sharing, Shareholder Engagement, and Organizational Talent.

 On The Board's Agenda | July 2016

View or Download the issue

Extended enterprise risk management: Understanding third-party risk

One of the biggest challenges facing boards and organizations is gaining an understanding of the full extent of their third-party relationships and the associated risks.

In this issue...

Jose Ecio Pereira, who sits on various boards in Brazil, Mark Victor, director, Risk Advisory, Deloitte South Africa, and Timothy Scott, national leader, Contract Risk Compliance, Deloitte Canada, discuss the importance of vendor due diligence. Today, when organizations are increasingly being found liable for their suppliers’ behavior and third-party actions can lead to a loss of reputation and customer trust in the organization, boards and management need fully understand the extent of their third-party relationships and the associated risks.

On the board's agenda | April 2016

View or Download the issue 

Private company governance: Independent board members can be a valuable resource for private companies

Private company owners should consider the benefits of having independent board members. They can be a valuable resource for a private enterprise, bringing diverse perspectives, knowledge and experience to the boardroom.

In this issue...

Marcelo Rivero, who sits on several private company boards in Mexico, and Daniel Aguinaga, Partner, Corporate Governance and Sustainability, Deloitte Mexico, look at how private companies can benefit from having a board, the role of independent board members, the different types of board structures, and the importance of transparency and reporting.

On the board's agenda | February 2016

View or Download the issue 


Base Erosion and Profit Shifting: Is your organization ready for the global tax reset?

For organizations with multinational operations, BEPS and the global tax reset is much more than a tax issue—it is a business issue.

In this issue...

John Jarrett, Associate Director, ESG research at FTSE Russell and Heather Evans, National Managing Partner, Tax Deloitte Canada, discuss the biggest change to international tax practices in over a generation. For organizations with multinational operations, BEPS and the global tax reset is much more than a tax issue—it is a business issue that will require the input of the C-suite and the board of directors.

On the board’s agenda | October 2015

View or Download the issue

Proactive engagement: Opportunity to build stronger relationships

Shareholders need information that enables them to understand an organization’s governance policies, performance, business objectives, and key risks. Good engagement practices with shareholders not only strengthens the trust and credibility with the company by keeping them informed, it also provides the board valuable feedback about shareholders priorities and concerns.

In this issue…

Abe Friedman, founder and managing partner at CamberView Partners and Deb DeHaas, National Partner, US Center for Governance, Deloitte LLP, lend their perspective on how companies can proactively engage shareholders to help build stronger relationships. Insights are offered on which shareholders to engage and when, as well as the importance of the approach in doing so.

On the board’s agenda | September 2015

View or Download the issue

Organizational talent

In today’s business world of new advancements and shifts in technology, globalization and demographics, boards of directors face the challenge of ensuring their organization is effectively and appropriately aligning themselves to succeed in this challenging environment.

On the board’s agenda is a series of articles that will share insights on how boards can move their organizations forward, both cohesively and successfully, while facing the challenges of today. Each issue will examine a single topic in detail, and will include the perspectives of a Deloitte professional with deep expertise in the subject matter as well as the views of an experienced external director.

This edition focuses on the board’s role with regards to talent. This article delves into our experts’ views on topics such as the board’s role in succession planning, the need for a Human Resource Appetite Statement, the constant evolution of technology, and the demographics of the workforce.

On the board’s agenda | June 2015

View or Download the agenda 

Did you find this useful?

Thanks for your feedback

If you would like to help improve further, please complete a 3-minute survey