Ahead of the 15th AICD 2021 Essential Director Update (EDU), David Thodey AO FAICD addresses the big issues facing boards as we continue to grapple with the pandemic and also cyber security, innovation, the digital enablement of Australian companies and other measures that businesses need to take to remain competitive.

“Innovation is all about reimagining how to improve your products, your processes and the customer experience, in effect, re-imagining your business. Remember, you can't stand still,” he says.

“Secondly, digital transformation is about how to use technology to enable your business to drive and improve customer experiences, enable new product features and of course, reduce costs. And digital transformation is essential for every organisation.”

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Follow the EDU as the AICD live tweets the event through twitter. Use the hashtag #EDU2021 and tag @AICDirectors to join the discussion.

Lisa Chung AM FAICD adds that as we grapple with the effects of COVID-19 this year, which affects all organisations, but acutely the not for profit sectors, she will also address a number of new areas in the AICD 2021 Essential Director Update.

“The year 2021 has been another year of extraordinary challenges for directors, but also massive opportunities,” she says in this preview video. Her EDU update will cover issues for government boards and the big issue of sexual harassment and how a board deals with that as an issue, as well as the perennial issue of diversity on boards.

“We need to ask, what is the board's role in the context of directors duties and work, health and safety laws, and whether those duties will be augmented under policy and legislative change currently being discussed?

“Also how does the board's leadership on the issue of sexual harassment impact its broader role in the oversight of culture?”

Moving boards beyond the issue of gender diversity to wider considerations of diversity is another question. “I know a lot of boards are thinking beyond that. One of the issues is - how do you do that?”

Registrations are open now for this year’s Essential Director Update.