(Article originally published at www.themagicpen.com)

Helle Bank Jorgensen’s new book is Stewards of the Future: A Guide for Competent Boards. The book is as much a call to action on the overarching threat of climate change, as it is a stirring exposé and step-by-step breakdown on how the board of directors framework spanning multiple corporations and businesses must change to address it. As far as Jorgensen is concerned, getting bold, progressive, and idealistic leadership onto the boards to help ensure climate-friendly practices and innovative changes is part and parcel with other postmodern and contemporary issues.

COMPETENT BOARDS: https://staging.competentboards.com/stewards-of-the-future/

Whether it be representation, equity, or reexamining the typical, hierarchal models of the corporate jungle landscape, all these facets of a corporate presence looking like the world in which we live helps solidify genuine change. “If proof is needed of how diversity can boost a business, consider what happened seventy years ago when Earl Tupper launched his plastic Wonder Bowl, the very first Tupperware product…Tapping into the talents that women offer is now just one dimension of an accelerating drive to promote diversity, inclusion, and equity in the workplace, including the boardroom…

The benefits that flow from a culture of diversity, inclusion, and equity are significant, and well documented by research. Diversity creates a virtuous circle. For starters, it is a rich and valuable source of information, and it drives a more inclusive and equitable culture, leading to more productive discussions, better decisions, and, in the end, improved outcomes. It enhances the ability to attract and retain the best talent. Beyond the confines of the company, diversity sends a powerful message to customers and suppliers, boosting the brand and inspiring loyalty and trust.”

Jorgensen’s marriage of terms like ‘loyalty’ and ‘trust’ are indicative of the cultural enmeshment of the personal, and the professional. There’s been a paradigm shift with respect to barriers negating comparisons and acute contrasts of one’s persona when in public and private. Now, the old saying really is true. Character matters. As much on a humanistic level as on a pragmatic plane.

By having diverse voices in positions of power, Jorgensen expertly demonstrates the externalities and potential that may help solve one of the greatest, exponentially threatening crises of our time. “In my opinion, the reason many board members do not fulfill (their) responsibilities is because they operate with less than adequate knowledge of the consequences of their decisions on the broader community,” Jorgensen writes. “For decades, boards have taken most decisions based only on short-term financial results rather than on long-term costs…associated with a broader perspective…

AMAZON: https://www.amazon.com/Stewards-Future-Guide-Competent-Boards/dp/1988025761

Corporate boards must navigate a far more complex and challenging landscape today than they did just a few years ago. The combination of globalization, climate change, social activism, and consumer awareness is thrusting threats and opportunities onto boardroom agendas that would have been dismissed not long ago as having little relevance to business. For many companies, new skills, fresh mindsets, and a different culture will be needed to confront this perilous, but also promising, new era.”

Kendall Townsend

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