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Decoding the Gartner 2023 Board of Directors Survey: Key Findings and Insights

Updated: Sep 15, 2023

In the evolving world of business and technology, understanding the priority areas of the board of directors is critical. The Gartner 2023 Board of Directors Survey provides key insights on what's top of mind for these influential groups. The focus areas are chiefly digital acceleration, sustainability, and diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI). This blog post will delve into the details and offer an in-depth look at these key findings.

Board of Directors

Board of Directors' Strategic Approach Amid Economic Uncertainty


In the face of economic uncertainty, the Board of Directors must constantly fine-tune their strategies. Responding to a dynamic environment is a common denominator in executive leadership circles. To keep up with this pace, the Gartner 2023 Board of Directors Survey shed light on the strategies that boards across various industries are using to stay ahead.


Embracing Risk: A Growth Strategy

The survey reveals an interesting trend in risk appetite among the Board of Directors. To drive growth in this volatile business environment, Boards are willing to accept greater risks. This willingness encompasses expanding product lines, transforming operational processes, and entering new markets. As the board members navigate possible recession, economic instability, and inflation, they are increasingly open to unconventional growth strategies.


Key Insight: 64% of the Board of Directors expect to increase their risk appetite in 2023-2024, highlighting a bold approach towards strategic business decisions.


The Digital Turn in Board Priorities


Another key finding from the Gartner 2023 Board of Directors Survey was the shift in priorities towards digital initiatives and workforce issues. The survey indicates that Boards are not only recognizing the pivotal role of digital technologies but also seeing the value in workforce retention, training, and hiring.


A New Economic Architecture: Digital Acceleration

One of the most significant findings from the survey is the sharpening focus of the Board of Directors on digital acceleration. It's clear that a new economic architecture is being forged, with more attention given to business transformation than mere optimization.


Key Insight: Over 70% of organizations are prioritizing a digital economic architecture, underscoring the shift towards digital transformation.


The Rise of Sustainability and DEI


In recent years, businesses have been under pressure to address environmental, social and governance (ESG) issues, as well as DEI. The Gartner 2023 Board of Directors Survey findings affirm this trend, indicating that boards are looking to invest more in sustainability and DEI.


Sustainability and DEI: A Major Investment Focus

The survey indicates that the majority of organizations will be investing in sustainability and DEI through 2024. These investments, primarily funded by increasing operational expenditure budgets, are driven by the expanding considerations of stakeholders.


Key Insight: Over 80% of the Board of Directors report that stakeholders consider sustainability and DEI when evaluating and interacting with their organizations.


In conclusion, the Gartner 2023 Board of Directors Survey offers vital insights into the strategic direction of organizations for the upcoming years. Businesses will need to embrace a new growth strategy, focusing on digital transformation, sustainability, and DEI to align with the priorities of the Board of Directors.


Our Directors’ Institute- World Council of Directors can help you accelerate your board journey by training you on your roles and responsibilities to be carried out in an efficient manner helping you to make a significant contribution to the board and raise corporate governance standards within the organization.

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