In the absence of having a crystal ball, Lezanne Kretschmer – Head of Company Secretarial Services, thought it might be a worthwhile endeavour to ask her colleagues what they think the future might hold, and their insights provide a thought-provoking roadmap for Boards and Leaders in navigating the uncertainties of 2024 and beyond. Cautionary tales or pearls of wisdom – you decide.
As we approach the uncertain territory of 2024 (not discounting the last few months of 2023 still to come, which are proving to be filled with uncertainty on a local and global level), we’re faced with a continuously changing landscape filled with unknowns. This is, of course, nothing new. Boards and Leaders constantly have much to think about, not only reflecting on the past and the lessons learned, but they also need to ponder, plan, and pursue their appropriate strategies for the near, medium, and longer-term future.
How can one bring a fresh perspective in a landscape filled with ‘looking ahead’ insight pieces that tend to start appearing at this time of year?
I suppose the answer is that it is not entirely possible, yet I wanted to do so anyway. I believe it can only be helpful to consider the ideas and pearls of wisdom from others because it fosters diversity of thought, potentially leading to more comprehensive and innovative solutions. This is stating the obvious, I know, but sometimes a common sentiment or statement can serve as a timely reminder or reinforcement of widely accepted truths, which can be valuable. The ‘old pearls’ might be timeless for a reason.
In this context, I have asked some of my colleagues at Aspida to provide some thoughts into the unpredictable political, economic, and regulatory landscape of 2024. They’ve shared what Boards and Leaders might need to consider, either in general or specifically by adding it to the top of their agendas. Here are their insights:
- Wayne Bulpitt, Joint Chair: “If it sounds too good to be true it probably is.”
- Peter Mills, Joint Chair: “The current economic turmoil is amongst the most significant factors to consider in the coming year.”
- Jessica Regnard, Governance Consultant: “I think navigating the future for Boards, will mean including the following as top agenda items for 2024: intensifying the focus on Sustainability and ESG Initiatives, prioritizing Cybersecurity and Data Privacy, harnessing Digital Transformation and Technology Adoption, nurturing Stakeholder Engagement, and maintaining strict Regulatory Compliance amidst an ever-evolving landscape.”
- Rob Jones, Head of Regulatory Compliance: “Resilience – the future is never certain. Doing your best as a board to protect the business from regulatory, (both locally & globally), cyber, economic and competitor threats.”
- Mark Chammings, Head of Financial Crime: ”‘Right people’, in the ‘right slots’, underpinned by the ‘right framework’.”
- Richard Bray, Relationship Director: “Be agile and quick to respond to any changing laws and regulations that come about as a result of the Moneyval visit.”
- Doug Mackay, Relationship Director: “To consider the impact of a sustained period of global instability on the company.”
- Nick Marquis, Head of Technology: “Understand your organisation’s Zero Trust architecture to path to Zero Trust architecture.”
- Tina Torode, Head of Corporate Governance: “The need to evaluate the board’s competencies with how the business has evolved and oversight of new areas like technological transformation will remain key to board effectiveness in 2024.”
- Renaut de Garis, Head of Risk & Assurance: “Horizon Scanning is important. Looking well ahead (1, 2 years or more) to see what’s coming gives senior management plenty of time to react and create business opportunities with timely risk mitigation. Do not wait until something becomes an imminent threat (and costly to address). Better plan to fail rather than fail to plan.”
- Matt Roland, Head of People and Culture: “From an HR perspective, I anticipate that employee well-being and fostering a positive workplace culture will continue to be paramount in light of the enduring global effects of the Covid-19 pandemic, prompting a shift towards proactive, forward-thinking strategies to address the complex challenges that have persisted and continue to emerge.”
- Julian Lane, Fiduciary Consultant: “Ethics – are the purpose, company values and clear strategy and is company’s culture aligned to those values. Strong ethics build: Resilience, Robustness, Strength & Support.”
- My two cents: Lezanne Kretschmer, Head of Company Secretarial Services: “Embrace AI, albeit cautiously; upskill wisely, and be sure to seize the potential of this fourth industrial revolution. AI will reshape the way we work, live, and interact in today’s rapidly evolving world. Get aboard or risk falling behind… or worse, becoming obsolete.”
Even though ’tis might be the Season for (possibly Ad Nauseam?) ‘Looking Ahead to 2024’ Insight Pieces, I hope this one might have been worth your time and provided you with a takeaway or two, to consider in 2024 (and beyond). May the year ahead bring forth abundant opportunities, resilience, unwavering strength, and the capacity to confront and overcome challenges for all of us.
If you would like to have a conversation to explore what your Board or Leaders should be contemplating, be sure to get in touch with us. At Aspida, we pride ourselves in being able to collaborate with our clients to help safeguard and enhance their businesses.