Home Directory The Institute of Directors in Ireland Business Leaders say COVID-19 pandemic has altered Skills Sets and Expertise for their Board.

Business Leaders say COVID-19 pandemic has altered Skills Sets and Expertise for their Board.

In the latest Director Sentiment Monitor research published by the Institute of Directors (IoD) in Ireland, nearly a third of business leaders (32%) say the requisite skills and experience on the board of their primary organisation have changed during the COVID-19 pandemic.

The business leaders also identify increased demand over the next two years for ESG (Environmental, Social and Governance), innovation, cyber security, and digital expertise.

Maura Quinn, Chief Executive of the Institute of Directors in Ireland, commented:

"The pandemic has impacted just about every business in Ireland - as it has the rest of society - and this movement in relation to requisite board members’ expertise and experience reflects this. So, while a majority (65%) of our survey respondents says the requisite skills and experience on their primary board have not changed during the COVID-19 pandemic, a significant one third of the business leaders say they have changed. The shift certainly reflects a post-COVID heightened awareness of environmental, social and governance issues, but also sees innovation, cyber security and digital expertise as enhancing rather than replacing more ‘traditional’ competencies such as strategy, corporate governance, and risk management.

"It is worth noting, too, that the crucial importance of strong business continuity planning expertise also came to the fore during the pandemic, and it served those organisations well that incorporated it into their boards’ strategic planning and risk management functions."
The key findings of the IoD’s Director Sentiment Monitor for Q2 2021 include:

Board Skills During the COVID-19 Pandemic: When asked, 'In respect of your primary organisation, have the requisite skills and experience on your board currently changed during the COVID-19 pandemic?' the respondents chose as follows:

  • No: 65%
  • Yes: 32%
  • Not sure: 3%

Board Skills - Sufficient? When asked, 'In your view, does your board have the range of skills and experience necessary to drive the business and mitigate significant risks that may directly or indirectly affect the organisation?' the respondents chose as follows:

  • Yes: 81%
  • No: 10%
  • Not sure:10%

Current Director Experience/Expertise: When asked, 'What do you believe is the main experience/expertise that you bring to your primary board?' the respondents chose as follows when asked to select their top three choices from the list provided below:

  • Strategy: 55%
  • Corporate governance: 37%
  • Marketing/sales/business development: 23%
  • Risk management: 22%
  • Compliance and regulation: 19%
  • Business continuity planning: 18%
  • Stakeholder engagement 18%
  • Accounting/Auditing: 15%
  • Human resources and people management: 15%
  • ESG (Environmental, Social, and Governance issues): 10%
  • Innovation: 9%
  • Corporate finance: 8%
  • Digital: 7%
  • Shareholder engagement: 5%
  • Communications and/or public relations: 4%
  • Cyber security: 4%
  • Other (please specify): 4%
  • Data protection and GDPR: 3%
  • Tax: 1%

(Please note for this question, respondents were given the option to select multiple responses. Therefore, each response given is a percentage of the full sample, for example, strategy is 55% out of 100%. For this reason, the responses will not add up to 100%.)

Future Director Experience/Expertise: When asked, 'In respect of your primary organisation’s board and its future success, what do you believe will be the most desired experience/expertise needed over the next two years?'  the respondents chose as follows when asked to select their top three choices from the list provided below:

  • Strategy: 35%
  • ESG (environmental, social, and governance issues): 29%
  • Innovation: 24%
  • Cyber security: 22%
  • Digital: 21%
  • Marketing/sales/business development: 21%
  • Risk management: 21%
  • Corporate governance: 18%
  • Human resources and people management: 18%
  • Business continuity planning: 17%
  • Compliance and regulation: 16%
  • Stakeholder engagement: 12%
  • Corporate finance:10%
  • Communications and/or public relations: 4%
  • Data protection and GDPR: 4%
  • Accounting/Auditing: 3%
  • Shareholder engagement: 2%
  • Tax: 1%
  • Other (please specify): 1%

(Please note for this question, respondents were given the option to select multiple responses. Therefore, each response given is a percentage of the full sample, for example, strategy is 55% out of 100%. For this reason, the responses will not add up to 100%.)

The findings in this survey have been rounded up or down to the nearest decimal point.

30/09/2021