Trust and reputation a key issue for leaders in 2020

by Ksenia Stepanova10 Jan 2020

The Institute of Directors (IoD) has identified the five biggest issues New Zealand’s leaders will face in 2020, and says boards must pay vital attention to five key areas: climate change, leading with purpose, data privacy, reputation and board leadership.

As we enter a new decade, chief executive Kirsten Patterson says now is a good time for directors to reflect on what their priorities are going to be, and has urged them to turn their attention to the issues which need the most action.

“Directors make decisions that can change the world – today and for the future — our future,” Patterson said.

“Our country is regarded as a beautiful and desirable place to visit. Our reputation internationally is important, and how we govern our organisations is key. I believe that good governance is more important now than ever.

“As we set ourselves up at the starting line of 2020, it’s a good time for directors to reflect on where we will put our efforts, what we will achieve and what our goals are.”

As well as giving the climate crisis, data privacy and effective leadership urgent attention, Patterson highlighted the importance of reputation, trust and accountability – especially in the financial and sports sectors. Banks and insurers have been rocked with issues of misconduct and public distrust throughout the last two years, and the IoD says crisis management in times like this is critical, and certainly something for the 2020 board plan.

“These are reminders that protecting the organisations’ reputation and brand should be up there on the board risk register,” Patterson said. “Boards should expect increased attention on these matters, and must be prepared to be held to account on them.”

“Serving on a board gives directors an opportunity to make a difference and have positive impact,” Felicity Caird, IoD general manager added.

“To effectively lead, boards need the right balance in terms of time spent on risk and compliance on one hand, and sufficient focus on strategy, opportunities and innovation on the other.”

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