Here is some helpful material from the AICD on many of this year’s most pressing issues. We have included Director Tools, content from our website and articles from our award-winning magazine, Company Director. This information will give you vital insights into the key themes and topics for Australian directors.

Australia's Vaccine Roll-Out

Vaccines as a workplace issue 

As Australia’s vaccine rollout proceeds, many employers are grappling with the question of whether they can launch vaccination policies in the workplace.

 

To jab or not to jab? The challenges of Australia’s COVID-19 vaccination rollout

Directors must decide whether to make the COVID-19 vaccine part of their organisation's risk-minimisation strategy – but there are complex WHS and legal considerations to navigate.

 

Should you vaccinate your staff? 

A number of large companies have announced vaccination programs and at the same time, the federal government has encouraged big business to get involved in vaccine roll-out for staff. However, many questions remain about the grey areas of workplace vaccination policies.

Building Culture

Governing organisational culture 

As part of the AICD’s Forward Governance Agenda – our response to the ongoing focus on governance standards and practice – we have developed this director tool to help shape the board’s approach to governing organisational culture.

 

Boards must act as culture guardians 

A positive company culture can lead to better long-term performance. Here's what boards must do to manage it, starting from the top down.

 

Governing company culture: Insights from Australian directors 

The AICD and the Australian Council of Superannuation Investors (ACSI) have partnered on a new report "Governing company culture: Insights from Australian directors" that provides real-world insights from the boardrooms of Australia’s largest companies on how directors oversee, measure and influence corporate culture.

Climate Change and Australia's Energy Future

Climate change now an opportunity, not a threat: AICD roundtable 

Climate change was once seen by energy companies and others as a threat to business. Now, according to senior directors who spoke at a recent AICD roundtable hosted by The Australian, the tide has shifted and many companies see it as an opportunity.

 

Managing climate risk for directors 

ASIC Commissioner Cathie Armour says disclosing and managing climate-related risk is a key director responsibility.

 

How boards can change the game on ESG 

Gaining a true understanding of ESG criteria can sometimes be difficult for boards and directors. However, pressure and interest from stakeholders is moving the dial for boards on ESG from a “nice-to-have” to an essential ingredient. Here’s how boards and directors can step up and change the game on ESG.

Community and Stakeholder Expectations of Directors

New guide to elevate stakeholder voices to the board

The AICD has released a practical guide to help directors identify and elevate stakeholder voices to the board.

 

5 basic principles for effective stakeholder governance 

How do boards ensure key stakeholders are involved in decision-making? A new AICD guide for directors offers insights on good stakeholder engagement practices.

Continuous Disclosure Laws & Virtual AGMs

Important continuous disclosure reform, virtual AGM relief

New laws passed by the Senate this year extend temporary relief for virtual AGMs and electronic documents to early 2022, and make welcome changes to continuous disclosure breach provisions.

Cyber Security Risk

Cyber security governance proposals 

In July, the Government released a consultation paper, Strengthening Australia's Cyber Security Regulations and Incentives, on regulatory options on cyber security, including a proposed governance standard for larger businesses.

 

Managing a data breach: ten oversight questions for directors 

A data breach of scale can be a crisis. If it is not well-managed, it can cause substantial damage to a company and its directors both financially and in terms of reputation. It can also have serious regulatory implications.

 

Six principles for boards on cyber-risk governance 

The World Economic Forum has released an important blueprint for boards on the governance of cyber risk. It outlines six principles for the boards of organisations to follow in order to improve cybersecurity in their organisations, set strategy and deal with stakeholders.

 

Surprise attack 

Highly publicised and potentially disastrous data breaches are becoming par for the course. So what practical cybersecurity steps can directors take to avoid being caught off guard?

Diversity in the Boardroom and Beyond

More work to do to shift the dial on gender diversity at all levels of leadership 

Our latest quarterly Gender Diversity Report reveals important signs of progress on the ASX 200, including the appointment rate of women to board roles.

 

Why gender diversity isn't the only diversity that matters 

The last couple years have highlighted the importance of diversity on boards, beyond gender equality. For Ivan Ingram, COO of the Australian Indigenous Governance Institute, new opportunities for vulnerable groups are a top priority.

Driving Digital Enablement

Directors on Digital 

A new podcast series brought to you by Company Director and Microsoft featuring leading directors and their stories on driving digital transformation.

 

Digital Transformers

Digital adoption in Australian enterprises has advanced rapidly. The challenge for directors now is how to build on the growing confidence and skills while avoiding traps for the unwary. Here are some essentials that will help guide the way

 

Here's how to develop your digital mindset

A digital mindset demands better ways of collaborating and goes beyond using the right tech. Three directors explain how a focus on teamwork can add value to an organisation.

Ethical Decision Making

Ethics in the Boardroom 

“Ethics in the Boardroom” is a unique program designed in collaboration with The Ethics Centre to help you examine ethical decision-making through four distinct lenses and provides a five-step decision-making framework to apply for each lens.

 

5 reasons directors must actively consider ethics in the boardroom 

It is imperative that board decisions take an ethical lens and consider the perspectives of different stakeholders. The AICD’s new online course, Ethics in the Boardroom, has been developed in collaboration with The Ethics Centre to help directors understand the ethical underpinnings of decision-making. But why is it so important for directors to actively consider ethics in their decision-making?

 

Ethical decision-making for directors 

The movement towards greater racial, socioeconomic and gender diversity is gaining momentum – and directors and executives need to get on board.

Flexible Work

When organisational wellbeing became a necessity rather than a luxury 

With the ultimate responsibility and resulting consequences of health and safety governance practices resting with boards, identifying, quantifying, and managing human capital risk has never been more important, or more threatening.

 

Tips for optimising the hybrid work model 

The best efficiency and productivity tools for the hybrid work environment – and how to get the most out of your team.

 

Will your board stick to new ways of working post-pandemic? 

A global survey shows the pandemic accelerated operational changes and on average, directors spent 20 per cent more time on board work in 2020 than in 2019, with the trend continuing this year. Boards and management are also collaborating more and a yearly process for setting strategy is no longer seen as sufficient.

NFP's During and After the Pandemic

2020 Not-for-Profit Governance and Performance Study: The COVID-19 Edition 

The annual Not-for-Profit Governance and Performance Study is the world’s largest study in NFP governance. 2020’s COVID-19 edition highlights that targeted funding is critical for the survival of many NFPs.

 

What NFP boards need to know about mergers 

Not-for-profit entities will be looking to mergers to help manage the challenges ahead, but the complexities of coming together and combining cultures could work against them.

Reputation and Oversight of Non-Financial Risk

What directors can learn from the Crown Resorts inquiry 

In fulfilling their fiduciary duties, directors must always act in the best interests of the corporation, writes Professor Pamela Hanrahan.

 

Lessons for boards from the Crown inquiry 

While the specifics of Crown’s issues may be unique to the sector, there are lessons from the casino operator’s governance failings for all boards.

The Board’s Role in Preventing Sexual Harassment

A Directors Guide to Preventing & Responding to Sexual Harassment

The AICD has published a director’s guide to preventing and responding to sexual harassment at work. It covers practical actions directors should be implementing.

 

AICD Governance Snapshot: The board’s role in preventing workplace sexual harassment 

The AICD encourages directors and management to work together to foster safe workplaces for their employees. There is no ‘one size fits all’ approach to responding to workplace sexual harassment.

 

The Board’s Role in Responding to Workplace Sexual Harassment – a ‘Complainant-Centric’ Approach 

As part of the AICD's program of work on the board’s role in effectively addressing workplace sexual harassment, the AICD has commissioned a report by Clayton Utz to provide a practical roadmap of board-level and legal considerations for effectively responding to workplace sexual harassment.

 

How can workplaces stop the scourge of sexual harassment? 

Australia is finally talking about sexual harassment. For boards and management, 2021 will be a critical year to lead on this central societal and political issue that has acute repercussions for workplace culture, reputation and wellbeing.