Old Game, New Rules

Harvey Nash / Alumni Board Report

In partnership with London Business School’s Leadership Institute

Key themes

What were the Key themes in this year’s report:

The Changing Board

Non-executives are required to be more involved in delivery, and digital skills will be the most required specialist competency for non-executives over the next five years. Candidates who bring specialist expertise and experience of emergent technologies will be in high demand and short supply.

What Makes a Good Chair?

Soft skills such as emotional intelligence, diplomacy and listening are rated as far more necessary qualities in an effective chair than the traditional traits of authority, industry experience and leadership. Fostering a supportive, listening culture in the boardroom ranks as the number one skill chairs should seek to develop.

Board Effectiveness

Boards have made no real commitment to broadening their reach to a wider pool of talent when it comes to new appointments since last year. They are also no more likely to conduct independent evaluations of their effectiveness.


Boards have an ever-increasing need to understand, anticipate and mitigate for disruptions beyond those of simple cyber security but also business transformations and technology spending. Need to recognise and plan for digital vulnerabilities and acknowledge that taking digital risks can bring great rewards.

The Inclusive Boardroom

Organisations need to think bigger and educate leaders to draw from the richness of perspectives that diversity brings. Diverse expertise can be found with the right approach to fostering development and well-connected executive search partnerships.

Request a copy

Find out more about the Harvey Nash / Alumni Board Report

Request a copy


Volatility and uncertainty appear to have become a steady state for organisations today. How are the governing boards of companies responding to this almost constant state of unprecedented flux? Read on to discover boardroom recommendations that can be activated to prepare for the future, today.

Read More


It seems obvious, but the effectiveness of an organisation is typically dependent on the effectiveness of its board. With the constant state of volatility, the need for strong leadership has never been more important. Read the overview and conclusion on the Harvey Nash research from a panel of experts at London Business School’s Leadership Institute.

Read More


Speakers, Thought Leaders, Networking and much much more...

London - Nov 14, 2017


Stockholm - Dec 12, 2017

Regional insights - APAC

The APAC region is the most likely to use networks to appoint new board members and has the least robust assessment process in comparison to the other countries surveyed.

Request the full report

Regional insights - NORDICS

The Nordic regions are most concerned about digital innovation but, talk the least about cyber security than all surveyed geographies. However, in the wake of a government IT scandal in Sweden this summer, these priorities might shift.

Request the full report

Regional insights - UK

Given the fragile status quo of the UK economy and heightened threat of terrorism, UK boards are the most likely to be talking more about governance and risk and cyber security.

Request the full report

Harvey Nash / Alumni's Board Report 2017/18

Thanks for your interest in the Harvey Nash / Alumni’s Board Report. Please spend a minute filling in this short form and we'll be in touch.

Click here