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Do We Need New Competencies in the Boardroom and C-Suite? Part 2

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Business
Do We Need New Competencies in the Boardroom and C-Suite? Part 2

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This article is an excerpt from the Future Boardroom Competencies 2020 Report compiled by Competent Boards and provided by Helle Bank Jorgensen, CEO and Founder.  This is the second part of a 2 part series and is a companion to her interview on Innovating Leadership, Co-creating Our Future titled Future Boardroom Competencies that aired on Tuesday, March 9th, 2021.  If you would like to read the entire report, it can be downloaded for free here.

Today’s board members and business executives are traveling across a business landscape vastly different than ever seen before. The acceleration of globalization, proliferation of technology, and elevated urgency surrounding a changing climate and biodiversity loss has produced increasingly treacherous terrain for companies with rigid business models. Now in 2020, board members and other business leaders are forced to address these challenges against the backdrop of the global crisis that is the COVID-19 pandemic.

As the board of directors navigate a setting so unfamiliar, pressure mounts as all stakeholder groups are intently observing boardroom decisions with a growing list of expectations in-hand. Undoubtedly, the adverse impacts generated by these complex phenomena indicate that a great-reset in corporate governance is not only necessary but required – and business leaders must be prepared.

Our research uses qualitative analysis to evaluate survey responses from our international faculty members and reveal the quintessential competencies, qualities, and traits that are comprised within a future-ready board member.

We hope that the results of this report can be used as a road map for both current or aspiring board members to reflect and act on what it is that they need to cultivate in order to effectively lead companies through future storms, and emerge on top with a refined sense of purpose. Many are calling the unprecedented challenges a tsunami – either leaders learn to surf, or they and the companies they serve will sink.

Today, we are in a world of despair where transgressing planetary boundaries continue to create new risks for businesses such as increased resource limitations, and supply chain disruptions.

We are not only transgressing the planetary boundaries, but also social and cultural ones. Technology has provided an opportunity for people to be more connected than ever. But many are feeling left out or struggling with cyberbullying, fake news, and constant bombardment of new information and expectations that put a strain on mental health.

Human rights are under tremendous pressure as modern slavery and economic exploitation of human life, as well as nature, is on the rise. This makes the role of directors and executives even harder to navigate, as stakeholders can use their phones to ruin a company’s reputation within a few seconds. With so many moving pieces, companies and their directors may struggle to ensure that all operations can stand up to the scrutiny of stakeholders and uphold the integrity they expect.

We need to move towards a net positive impact on nature, humans, and the economy. And to do so the actions of board of directors and executives must extend beyond a nicely written report. ESG (environmental, social, and governance) integration requires leadership and an ESG transformation mindset. Therefore, board members and executives must ensure that this mindset is embedded across all levels of the organization.

With more attention being cast to the board of directors in addressing various environmental, social, and economic challenges, new initiatives will continue to alter the regulatory landscape. The European Commission recently announced a proposed intervention in the area of corporate law and governance with the general objective of establishing more robust accountability measures to improve a company’s integration of sustainability into long-term decision making.² This initiative, among other mounting pressures, underscores the responsibility of the board of directors and its power in creating meaningful action.

The board of directors is obliged to not only deliver returns to shareholders but also to clearly define the role of the company in society. A society that in return expects that elected board members bring exceptional capabilities to the boardroom.

For example, board members should have an understanding of how company resources are being utilized and be clear on how these actions impact nature and stakeholders. Furthermore, the board of directors must understand how the current and future states of nature and society will impact the company and its ability to thrive in the long-term. A task that has been considered “one of the most demanding, complex and taxing activities in the world of public life”.³ With increased public discussion on the role of corporations in times of crisis such as COVID-19, there is increasing stakeholder pressure for board members to perform on ESG-related issues.

A recent survey from Edelman found that 71% of 12,000 respondents would lose trust in a company if they perceived that the company was placing profit over people.⁴

Leading companies have certainly responded to these pressures. It was recently reported that 63 of the 100 largest public companies now have a board committee overseeing sustainability matters.⁵ However, the same study identified that only 17% of those serving on these committees had relevant training or experience when it comes to ESG and sustainability. ⁶

This dichotomy emphasizes how critical it is that board members work towards building and applying the necessary competencies in addressing ESG-related issues and adopt an approach to leadership that facilitates ongoing dialogue with shareholders and other stakeholders.

We are now in a period of awakening, where major transformations are taking place in all corners of the globe, altering the traditional context for boardroom decision making and heightening the expectations of corporate leaders and board of directors. We believe that reformulating the pre-existing definition of corporate stewardship in the 21st century will catalyze a pivot in social outlooks from one of despair to one of hope.

This report explores the foundational requirements board members need in order to navigate the dynamic nature of a world evolving faster than ever before.

(2) Study on directors’ duties and sustainable corporate governance (European Commission, 2020) – https://op.europa.eu/en/publicationdetail/-/ publication/e47928a2-d20b-11ea-adf7-01aa75ed71a1/language-en (3) How to Play the Board Game (The Economist, 2020) – https://www.economist.com/business/2020/11/21/how-to-play-the-board-game?src=gft (4) Trust Barometer Special Report: Brand Trust and the Coronavirus Pandemic (Edelman 2020) – https://www.edelman.com/research/covid-19-brand-trust-report (5) The Sustainability Board Report 2020 – https://www.boardreport.org/reports-research (6) Ibid

Do you know of top ESG Competent Boards and Board Members?  You can nominate those you believe should be highlighted in the Competent Boards list here.

To become a more innovative leader, you can begin by taking our free leadership assessments and then enrolling in our online leadership development program.

Check out the companion interview and past episodes of Innovating Leadership, Co-creating Our Future, via iTunes, TuneIn, Stitcher, Spotify, Amazon Music, and iHeartRADIO. Stay up-to-date on new shows airing by following the Innovative Leadership Institute LinkedIn.

About the Author

Helle Bank Jorgensen is the CEO of Competent Boards, which offers the global online ESG Competent Boards Certificate Program with a faculty of over 95 renowned international board members; executives and experts.

A business lawyer and state-authorized public accountant by training, Helle helps global companies and investors turn sustainability into strong financial results. She was the creator of the world’s first Green Account based on lifecycle assessment, as well as the world’s first Integrated Report and the first holistic responsible supply chain program.

Helle has written numerous thought leader pieces, is a keynote speaker, and is interviewed by global media outlets.

Image by spokane1977 from Pixabay

G.I.V.E. to Get

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Business
G.I.V.E. to Get

Emotional skills are more important than ever for 21st century business. Good leadership can be quickly undermined by lack of emotional regulation. Without the skill to manage your own emotion, leaders can act impulsively. Harsh works can burn long built bridges of connection in seconds, leaving damaged working relationships in ashes. And what is ultimately damaged is trust.

So, what can you do?

First, leaders need to be self-aware of the things that cause them to be dysregulated. The body is the first clue. By scanning for sensations that signal distress, you can start to reverse the process. Sensations like a tight throat, a pounding heart, judgmental thoughts, sweaty palms, and a knot in the stomach are signals that shouldn’t be ignored. Our body gives us clues to our state of mind constantly. Understanding how your body speaks to you is worth investigating with curiosity.

Once you know what is happening, giving yourself permission to step away, take a breath, and sooth yourself. Use your five senses: focus on something beautiful, listen to music, smell something calming, put an ice cube in your mouth. By focusing on these sensations, the brain has to shift. As we calm down, you can gain perspective and choice how to respond to a situation, rather than reacting impulsively that could negatively impact important relationships.

For your teams to feel respected and valued, they need to feel heard. Listening to those around you is an important skill many leaders struggle with; however, it is critical for everyone’s success. When teams feel heard, they will not only give you their best, they will give you their loyalty.

An easy way to remember this skill is G.I.V.E. (adapted from the work of Marsha Linehan, PhD)
• (be) GENTLE: approach the conversation in a non-threatening, open, receptive and available way.
• (be) INTERESTED: John Gottman says it is more important to be interested than interesting! This
means you are attentive, curious, and focused on listening, not to just respond, but to
understand what is being said. You are allowing the time to really pay attention while
setting aside your own preconceived ideas of what might be happening.
• VALIDATE: Validation is about understanding. It is not about fixing a situation, or finding a
teaching moment. It is saying “I get it” without looking for rebuttals. The primary goal is
to have the speaker feel heard. This step MUST ALWAYS precede problem solving.
• EASY MANNER: Being approachable and creating a safe space where people can come to you with
concerns is an important skill. It allows you to be professional without being intimidating.
Safety increases trust and communication.

Remember, learning new skills is a practice, but one that is well worth it! It is not enough to work from the top down. To be truly successful, we must work from the inside out!

If you would like to listen to the show Skills of Connection follow this link to hear the replay!

https://www.voiceamerica.com/episode/104077/skills-for-connection

Dealing with Stress Like Your Life Depends On It

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Business
Dealing with Stress Like Your Life Depends On It

It seems that we all spend an enormous amount time trying to avoid what we feel. Every other commercial on TV or the Internet is designed to take us away from what is happening to us. Have a headache? Take this. Overwhelmed? Talk to your doctor about this new medication. Stressed? Get away to our great vacation destination. But everyone of these strategies are about avoiding what is happening to us. Although some avoidance can be a positive exercise, we can’t get away from everything that stresses us out. So, what are we supposed to do?

When we allow ourselves to pay attention to what is happening, both internally and externally, it gives us the ability to look at things in a new way. If we get curious about the sensations in our body, our thoughts and judgments going through our head, the emotions we feel, and the environment these all exit in, we can assess what is happening vs. just reacting to it. That pause, to key into ourselves, allows us to make decisions about what is needed in the moment.

One of the problems I often see is that we know what we need (to eat, to rest, to play, to be creative) but we deny ourselves these things because there are always more pressing things to do. We focus on the “to do” list and we become so enslaved to it that we put taking care of ourselves last on that list every time. We begin to glean our self-worth from how much me do and how productive we are. We wear our exhaustion like a badge of honor becoming “Human Doings” instead of “Human Beings.”

I still remember a time when we went to work from 9-5. When we arrived home, we did not engage in our work again until the next day. There was time for recreation, time for family, time of hobbies, time to just play with the kids and time to rest. But, our 21st century lives don’t work that way. We are expected to be available to our jobs nights, weekends, and holidays. There is no break because the workday never ends. And the things that are designed to keep us resilient get pushed aside.

As we continue to operate this way, is it any wonder that stress related illness is out of control? Our bodies can only take so much before they will let us know they are at the breaking point. Ignoring the signs can make us literally sick, or worse.

I believe that getting clear about what is happening to us is not just something helpful to do, but vital to our health, well-being, and ultimately our survival. It is not optional any more. We must cultivate things in our lives that gives us resiliency to combat the stress we encounter every day. Those things can include rest, creativity, music, meditation, yoga, sport, recreation, nature, pets, volunteerism, and activism. When we make time in our lives for the things that matter, that things that are difficult get better. It is a practice, like any other Mindfulness practice. But without it, the stress of our lives can overtake us and rob us of any joy in our lives, leaving us resentful and bitter.

It is so important. Make the time. It is not optional. Engage in it like your life depends on it, because it does!

Observations on Mindfulness

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Business
Observations on Mindfulness

Observations on Mindfulness
I know the idea of Mindfulness sounds elusive. People often envision sitting crossed-legged on the floor, repeating “OMMMM” over and over, waiting for their mind to settle down. If you are like me, that process never worked! My brain is often too busy running down rabbit holes of thoughts that lead in a million directions at ninety miles an hour. Sound familiar?
For me, Mindfulness was like a miracle. It was less about stillness, and more about observation. I would often overreact to my thoughts, believing they were telling me the truth of a situation. Learning the concepts of Mindfulness, I came to understand that my thoughts are not always facts, but are filled with judgments and assumptions that are often wrong. Yet responding in that state could drive my emotions right off a cliff, leaving me in a state of stress all the time. It was exhausting!
Observing my own thoughts gave me space. It gave me perspective. And most importantly, it gave me time to assess whether this was a thought I needed to react to or not. It gave me choice. And in that choice, whether to react or not, gave me a freedom I did not know was possible.
I always loved the analogy of the subway car. I could imagine spray painting my thoughts on a shiny silver car. And when the doors of the car opened, I could decide to get on that thought train and ride, or step back on the platform and let those thoughts speed down the track into the dark. Since learning Mindfulness almost two decades ago, I ride that train a lot less, and have created more peace in my life. Even when times are overwhelming or stress.
The great thing is this doesn’t require a lot of time. Just stop. Take a breath. Notice how you feel. Observe your thoughts. And then, decide what you want to do. I promise you, this simple exercise can create miracles for you too!

When things don’t go as planned

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Business
When things don’t go as planned

John Lennon once said, “Life is what happens while you are busy making other plans.”

My plan was to start my brand-new radio show on VoiceAmerica on Monday, November 6th. This was something way out of my comfort zone. I worked hard with my producer, Winston Price, to learn how to assemble a meaningful show, talk to guests and create interesting content. I spent the last 8 weeks focused on getting the show ready. I was nervous and excited at the same time.

Sitting in the studio, headsets on, my guest and business partner, Annie Campbell, sitting across from me, we were ready to go. And then nothing happened. Crickets.

For some reason, despite the best efforts of two hard working engineers, they could not fix the problem. The show was not going to happen. At least tonight.

My show, Innovative Mindful Solutions, is focused on how to mindfully approach our thoughts and emotions that may sabotage our businesses and our lives. I believe that when we rigidly attach ourselves to a specific outcome, not only do we create more suffering for ourselves, but that attachment may keep us from seeing other viable options and possibilities. Mindfulness allows us to step back, observe the situation and ourselves as it is in THIS moment, not as we would wish it to be. The universe was presenting me a true test of my convictions. Would I practice what I preach or succumb to my disappointment? I realized I had a choice to make.

So, taking a deep breath, I smiled at two very concerned engineers. And Annie did as well. I thanked them for their hard work and diligence in trying to fix the problem and get us on the air. I could see the relief on their faces when I told them that I was grateful for their efforts. I knew they were expecting us to be upset or angry. We decided to regroup and try again next week. I knew it would be OK.

And I realized John Lennon was right!

So, the do over of Innovative Mindful Solutions will be next Monday, November 13th at 4pm PST/ 7pm EST on the VoiceAmerica Business Channel. Click the link below and join us to learn new ways to manage your business and your life when things don’t go as planned!

https://www.voiceamerica.com/show/2708/innovative-mindful-solutions-with-terry-galler

Whole Person Learning with Dr. Mary Jo Bulbrook

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7th Wave
Whole Person Learning with Dr. Mary Jo Bulbrook

 whole person living

Be sure to tune in live on Wedesnday October 23th for Wise Chats, Simple Talk, Profound Wisdom on the VoiceAmerica 7th Wave Channel on Wednesday at 11-12 am PST or 2-3 pm EST.

Guests: Akamai University Doug Capogrossi, President, Christine Ross, PhD, Graduate in Energy Medicine and Leslie Whitcomb, MA, Doctoral Student Applied EcoPsychology

Evolutionary Education what is it?  Why do we need it?  How is this education different?  Dr. Doug Capogrossi, Akamai University President and Dr. Mary Jo Bulbrook, Director of Complementary Therapies will describe some exciting opportunities offered through AU.  Whole Person Learning will be illustrated by Leslie Whitcomb who has an innovative model of education based on her years of study, interest and research in applied ecopsychology. Dr. Christina Ross research is on the cutting edge of medical science conducted at Wake Forest Institute for Regenerative Medicine.  Her research investigated how the body used various electrmagnetic frequencies to transmit different types of information from cell to cell when the body is recovering from disease. The scope of what is possible when a scholarly environment is provided for faculty and students to engage in visionary learning that gets to address questions that solve problems for planet earth and those who are caretakers of this rich resource.  Evolutionary Education: Whole Person Learning time has come! 

akaami logo

 

www.akamaiuniversity.us

Aloha. Welcome to the Akamai University!                                                                                            

Akamai is an international university operating at the frontier of higher learning.  As a nonprofit non-governmental organization, we have dedicated our efforts toward the betterment of the human condition and sustainability of the planet.

Together, we strive for a world filled with greater peace, balance, cooperation, and the promise of an evolved human fellowship.

 

Guest Speakers:

Dr. Douglas Capogrossi, President of Akamai University

Dr. Capogrossi earned his Bachelors in Business Administration, his Masters in Curriculum and Instruction and his Ph.D. in Adult and Continuing Education from Cornell University, where he completed an extensive dissertation investigating the effectiveness of the American education system. Dr. Capogrossi has administered a variety of formal and non-formal education programs including distance learning colleges, trade apprenticeships, work experience projects and on-the-job training within industry and the human services, distance learning training programs for industry, and adult job training through center-based programs. He has coordinated innovative community-based education and work-experience projects for troubled youth at public and private institutions, and has more than eight years’ experience developing and instructing innovative education programs for adult inmates in Hawaii correctional facilities.

Dr. Christina Ross, Recent PhD Graduate of AU

Christina Ross, PhD, is a board-certified Polarity Practitioner (BCPP) practicing energy medicine for over a decade.  She has received bachelor’s degrees in both psychology and physics from the University of North Carolina at Greensboro, and a PhD in Energy Medicine from Akamai University in Hilo, Hi.  Her dissertation involved research at the Wake Forest School of Medicine’s Institute for Regenerative Medicine, studying the effect of pulsed electromagnetic field on cell signaling in an inflammatory response model.  Her recent published text is:  Christina L. Ross, PhD, BCPP. Etiology: How to Detect Disease in Your Energy Field Before It Manifests in Your Body. Copyright© 2013 by Christina L. Ross. Publisher: Xlibris Corporation (March 13, 2013), Library of Congress control number: ISBN-13: 978-1479781690.  This scholarly work offers the definitive work in Energy Medicine.

Leslie Whitcomb, Phd Candidate in Applied EcoPsychologyLeslie Whitcomb, M.Sc., Ph.D. candidate, Child Development in Applied Ecopsychology has been counseling and educating families for thirty years. Her early focus on Post-Partum Adjustment and training in Parent-Infant Mental Health inform her understanding of how biology, neurodevelopment and cultural family patterns impact child and family wellness.  Leslie’s indigenous heritage and her immersion in Earth based ways of knowing and learning impact her understanding of the importance of recognizing sensory interconnection as well as empirical analysis in family studies and research. Leslie is currently finishing a dissertation detailing the ecopsychology of child development. Her research design is based in defining ontologies for, and recording longitudinal data from, self-efficacy measures in learning outcomes. Specifically, learning outcomes from courses designed to balance cognitive learning with sensory learning activities

8 Key Words:  Holistic, Evolutionary Education, Innovative, Comprehensive Whole Person Learning,

https://www.akamaiuniversity.us

Emails:  Dr. Doug Capogrossi,  dcapogrossi@gmail.com (Hawaii), Christina Ross, PhD, chrross@wakehealth.edu,  Leslie Whitcomb, Leslielynn13@gmail.com

 

Dr Bulbrook was co-founder and director of training of  Hospice Salt Lake in Utah during the 1970’s.  In that role she became intimately aware of individuals, families and communities needs during dying and death.  Walking with a person and family during the dying process enriches one’s life beyond words.  Opening to “see on the other side” however came not in that role but through her early spiritual life.  Spirits starting coming to her and speaking at an early age but this ability did not take shape until her adult life.  During her studies in Healing Touch and through her own work as a family therapist and psychotherapist, doors opened to other dimensions as she developed her senses beyond the ordinary five.  She became a channel to receive and give messages to clients from the other side and vice versa.  She has presented at the  Rhine center, an international community dedicated to research and discovery of paranormal phenomena as well at other professional meetings worldwide.

Website: www.energymedicinepartnerships.com

Email: maryjo@energymedicinepartnerships.com

 

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