Leaders More Future-Focused in 2021

Boards will be focused on two important challenges in 2021: technology strategy and diversity, equity and inclusions measures.

One of the upshots of 2020 was that it forced Boards at all organizations to become more agile and future-focused. Leaders are pivoting and focusing more time on learning while also pushing DE&I initiatives throughout their organizations and industries — a good thing for everyone.

Boards will be focused on two important challenges in 2021: technology strategy and diversity, equity and inclusions measures.

The focus on these two areas in particular is linked to both the uncertainty brought about by the pandemic and the more sobering conversations and imagery we witnessed related to social injustice and unrest in 2020. Leaders in 2021 will be primarily focused on the future of their organizations rather than the day-to-day operations such as agenda setting, meetings and board evaluations.

Digital transformation. Increasing the pace of digital transformation and making it part of an organization’s long-term strategy, along with cybersecurity and safe employee work environments, are top priorities.

Strategic DE&I. Companies will need to be savvier about DE&I issues and commit to following through by making sure these practices are embedded in their operations. A DE&I statement isn’t enough; organizations need to make good on those statements with actionable goals and reports back to leaders and stakeholders.

2021 will no doubt present its own set of unique challenges as the year marches on. But as more people get vaccinated, it seems a return to “normal” is at least no longer a far off notion. Companies need to stay one step ahead if they wish to remain competitive and relevant.

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