Deloitte has today released a new research report presenting insights from some of New Zealand’s most prominent board
chairs about the challenges of responding to and recovering from the impacts of COVID-19.
“Boards have been subject to new challenges, navigating both operational disruptions driven by the COVID-19 pandemic and
long-term strategic decisions around guiding and energising organisations to thrive in the future,” said Ross Milne,
Chair, Deloitte New Zealand.
The 17 chairs interviewed in the Deloitte research represent 35 significant local organisations - 28 per cent of the NZX
50 and 20 per cent of the 2020 Deloitte Top 200 index. Interview participants canvassed topics ranging from COVID-19’s
impact on operations, to running a board during lockdown, and sharing advice for future chairs.
Key themes emerged from respondents regardless of the industry they operated in, and include:Building new levels of agility and risk sophistication into BAUChairs and chief executives forming deeper working relationships during the pandemicDiversity of thought around the board table is now more important than everEnsuring ongoing supply chain security is criticalDigital ways of working are the new normal, andDeveloping local leadership capabilities to secure talent pipelines
“It is not surprising to see similar themes emerge across the business world. While each organisation will have taken a
tailored solution to the challenges it faced, these challenges were being faced by all businesses irrespective of their
industry, or even their size,” said Grant Frear, Strategy Partner, Deloitte New Zealand.
“COVID-19 has impacted the way chairs work with their boards and CEOs to assess opportunities for their businesses to
transform based on lessons learned during 2020. Figuring out how to thrive in an environment with high levels of
uncertainty is the new normal,” Mr Frear said.
This research project was also conducted concurrently by Deloitte’s Australia and United Kingdom firms, and despite
geographical differences, similar themes to the New Zealand research emerged.