Technology has become a staple of the boardroom over the past decade. Today we see it reshaping the parameters of corporate governance itself. Electronic board books and board portals are shaking up what happens in the boardroom, of course, but online social media such as Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn will force directors to rethink how they reach out to stakeholders.
Fay Feeney‘s article in the March/April edition of The Corporate Board, Leading a Board at the “Speed of Instant,” provides another excellent overview of why boards should embrace social media. She elaborates on three key lessons:
- Know what people are saying about you and your directors.
- Work with your corporate counsel to explore how board portals can improve your board effectiveness.
- Ask your corporate counsel to explore technology for enhancing shareholder communications.
The same issue contains a good conversation with John Gillespie: Why Boards Continue to Fail. The co-author of Money for Nothing: How CEOs and Boards Enrich Themselves While Bankrupting America says boards can learn a lot from “phoenix” companies lie Tyco, Warnaco, Tenet Healthcare and other who made corporate governance changes that helped them rise from the depths of crises.
See also: Social Media for Directors. Also of interest, from a historical perspective, Richard Nathan’s, April 1996 article, Corporate Governance at the Speed of Light. (I think this may be it but am not sure, since it has another author’s name. I had an interesting dialoge with Richard 15 years ago when he posted his article and I referenced it on my site. Corporate governance at the speed of light seems to be arriving at the speed of a slow train but may finally be pulling into the station. Richard, if you’re still out there, send me an e-mail)
Also read Webinar tackles social media and listen to Inside Investor Relations’ webinar: ‘Where’s the value in social media?’
The panel features:
-Andrea Wentscher, IR manager for retail investors, BASF
-Patrick Kiss, head of investor & public relations, Deutsche EuroShop
-Friederike Edelmann, director of investor relations, SAP