Ivey Business Journal
In June 2016, the Institute of Corporate Directors (ICD) appointed Rahul Bhardwaj—an accomplished executive and director with a long, successful track record in the business, community, and non-profit sectors—to lead the national association for board directors. The self-proclaimed “governance geek” sat down with Ivey Business School Professor Gerard Seijts to discuss what boards must do to help firms navigate turbulent waters. With improvements in boards following the Enron, Volkswagen, and Wells Fargo scandals, Bhardwaj sees more of a board focus on corporate culture than ever before: “The need to be more careful about what you reward has been brought to the forefront of governance thinking.” He says the biggest public misconception about a board’s governance role is that it is a cushy job. Given the increased complexity of the director role, the speed with which a crisis can develop, and the challenges created by technological and political disruption, the level of engagement required for directors has increased dramatically. It used to be fairly common for a director to serve on four or five boards, but today that seems hard to justify. Finally, Bhardwaj sees Canadian companies as the most trusted in the world, because trust in firms from other nations has fallen.
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