Making Your Board a Strategic Asset

What to expect in 2013?

It is that time of the year again when economic forecasters and other technical soothsayers ponder ahead as to what may happen in the next calendar year.

The actual year itself, because of the number 13, might frighten the superstitious (a word of 13 letters incidentally!)

Apple’s iTunes store and Skype will celebrate their 10th anniversary while the computer mouse turns 50. Morgan Stanley estimates that the number of internet connected mobile devices, like smartphones and tablet computers, will exceed the number of desktop and laptop personal computers. This will mean some serious soul searching for people like Dell, Intel and Microsoft.

The economic surroundings will continue to be tough and demanding with politicians unable to provide clarity and direction. Expect many more European summits.

Finance will continue to be difficult to obtain as banks shore up their regulatory capital bases.

Board conversations will need to continue to focus on whether their current business models are still relevant, or face the fate of Eastman Kodak. In some cases strong and brave decisions will have to be taken e.g. Sony.

2013 also marks the end of the first three year period when the UK Corporate Governance Code requires FTSE 350 companies to have their Board Evaluation exercises carried out externally. We have already seen an early rush.

And to everyone’s chagrin, Greece and Cyprus will not take part in next year’s Eurovision Song Contest because of their economic situation.