2021 is Not Waiting for 2030 When it Comes to Advisory Boards

Thought Leadership Articles

Published 05 October 2021

Published: 5 October 2021

EY recently forecast that Advisory Boards will be prevalent by 2030 in more organic governance ecosystems.¹ The good news is that we do not need to wait for 2030, as it is already happening in the market today.

The EY Center for Board Matters has released a thorough report on Boards of the Future: “Is the board of the future being held back by the past?” Outlining the growing challenges for boards from legal, ethical, stakeholder, and knowledge perspectives, EY revealed that 98% of investors are seeking non-financial disclosures, highlighting the shift to inclusive stakeholder capitalism.¹

The report predicts trends for 2030 and the increased utilisation of Advisory Boards in several capacities. Below are some direct quotes from the report:

  • Boards adopting more curiosity and less formality by building ‘listening posts’.
  • Assessing whether a non-traditional operating model variant would offer more effective governance; for example, more open or networked governance.
  • Ideas are raised and resolved around, as well as within, the board.
  • Non-traditional committees support big value creation, advisory groups help with topics such as ESG (environmental, social, governance).
  • Satellite structures pick up stakeholder issues and feed them up to sense-making ‘nodes’.

The research presented in the Advisory Board Centre’s 2021 State of the Market Global Report highlight two major findings that corroborate significant activity is already taking place within the Advisory Board sector:

  1. An increase of more than 52% of Advisory Boards globally in just two years; and
  2. The increased utilisation of corporatised Advisory Boards.

I am deeply encouraged by the work of the research team at EY indicating the rising trend of the utilisation of Advisory Boards in governance ecosystems. I strongly encourage any Advisory Board and governance professionals to download these reports.