Directors can be forgiven for feeling bruised, even though the global economy shows slight signs of recovery. Consumer confidence appears to be picking up as jobless numbers ease, according to the latest figures from The Conference Board. And, chief executive officers seem less anxious about their organizations’ future prospects.
But directors themselves are far more guarded. NACD’s latest Board Confidence Index shows that directors’ confidence in continued growth in the U.S. economy has dropped. In fact, directors who last year characterized their outlook for general economic conditions as moderately positive now see little or no change for the future.
There is no way for directors to magically boost global demand or pull macroeconomic levers. But there are factors they certainly can control that will, over time, substantially improve the operations of the companies on whose boards they sit—not least because those factors will free the board and management team to focus on performance. Heidrick & Struggles identifies five issues that merit immediate and consistent attention.