Annual Report 2009

Open dialogue, trust and integrity are words that are constantly mentioned when members of the Norwegian Institute of Directors meet to discuss board-related topics. In addition to the board members possessing expertise and an understanding of the business challenges for the company, they should also possess some important personal qualities where values and attitudes are crucial to the decisions that are taken.

Board work has become more extensive and the complexity of the issues is increasing. Changes in legislation, rules and a common perception of what is right is occuring at a very fast pace. Where legislation allowed a tax exemption just a few years ago, for example, such exemptions could now almost be considered a criminal offence. At the same time, the spotlight from a critical press is becoming ever sharper. Corporate governance has become a mantra, and transparency is expected in all areas. But how does this work in practice? How does one ensure good work processes within the board, and how does one ensure good teamwork between management, the board and owners while also safeguarding the interests of society? There are many questions, many dilemmas and many grey areas. There are often no definite answers, but through discussion and the exchange of experience one can develop best practice and an understanding of what is considered to be good judgement.

The establishment of the Norwegian Institute of Directors was, among other things, the result of the founders’ desire to focus the debate around board work, and our aim is to be an arena for the exchange of experiences within board-related topics. Now that we have put the first business year behind us, we can say that we are well on the way. The interest and involvement in our work has been overwhelming from the very start. We have had great support for our conferences and theme lunches, where we, among other things, put the spotlight on the chairperson's role, good practice for feedback, the board's expertise at the expense of diversity, and good processes for nominating committees.

Our objective for the coming year is to further increase the level of activity, and there is no shortage of relevant topics to debate.

Turid E. Solvang. Man. Dir. Norwegian Institute of Directors

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