Seeking opportunity in crisis, boards uphold digital growth agendas

Determined to find opportunity in the COVID aftermath, boards are leaning in with more management support in addition to their usual strategic oversight. Navigating the post-pandemic world will amplify IT leadership in agility and innovation.

Boards of directors everywhere are dealing with a new world of increasing risk, rampant uncertainty and business failures in the churning wake of the global pandemic. Never has the role of CIOs and the technologies they manage been more front-and-center in boardroom deliberations.

“Everything we’re seeing and reading about (doing business) in the post-COVID world is about agility and innovation,” says Wayne Shurts, former CTO of Sysco and a board member at Armstrong World Industries in Lancaster, PA. "If you’re a good CIO, you know more about that than any other executive in your company.” 

As a publicly-traded NYSE company “Armstrong has a robust crisis and business continuity plan,” Shurts notes, “but any company would be kidding if they’re saying they anticipated this situation.”

On shaky ground

A real-time master class in business continuity, the COVID crisis poses an unparalleled challenge for boards everywhere. That is profoundly shifting the relationship between boards and their executive management teams, says Susan C. Keating, CEO of the WomenCorporateDirectors (WCD) Foundation in Stuart, FL.

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