Companies need to act now to refresh, review business strategies


Despite the disruptions experienced, Lim sais ICDM persisted in its efforts to maintain the discipline of announcing its yearly performance results, remaining compliant with governance best practices and adhering to international disclosure standards and compliance.

KUCHING: The Institute of Corporate Directors Malaysia (ICDM) calls on companies to review their business strategies in a post-Covid world, revising their plans to adapt to the new normal.

“The advent of the Covid-19 pandemic has upended the world as we know it. Companies, boards and directors, together with the leadership team, now have to review, rethink and refresh their understanding, outlook and outcomes of the business, against the next normal.

“It is now or never; to survive as a business, we need to revise our plans and expectations to cater to changing customer expectations and the environment,” said Michele Kythe Lim, president and chief executive officer of ICDM said during ICDM’s third Annual General Meeting as well as the launch of the inaugural ICDM Report.

“The global pandemic is a wake-up call for Corporate Malaysia. It is a reminder that regulators, companies, and directors have to work together to ensure we have the right leadership to steer the companies towards the right direction.

“As the country gradually heads towards recovery, it is not a time for complacency. As stewards, boards will play a critical role in determining the company’s ability to ride through the crisis and its legacy.

“As such, board readiness and competency are key in the future sustainability of businesses. Boards need to urgently reflect and act now, to refresh and review the business strategies in order to stay competitive and relevant to stakeholders.”

Despite the disruptions experienced, ICDM persisted in its efforts to maintain the discipline of announcing its yearly performance results, remaining compliant with governance best practices and adhering to international disclosure standards and compliance.

“Our achievement to date is a reflection of Corporate Malaysia’s growing awareness and appreciation towards the importance of board effectiveness and professionalism, specifically within the director community,” Lim continued.

“Over the past two years, ICDM has been focusing on delivering value and high-quality offerings catering to the needs of directors, to support them at all levels of their directorship journey. Preparing to lead and operate businesses in a changing world has been the norm.

The ICDM membership base — both individual and corporate — has grown by 5.5 times and 4 times respectively, since 2018. As of 31 May 2020, ICDM has recorded a total of 497 individual members and 40 corporate members, completed 77 director development programmes which benefited 4,617 directors and senior leaders, facilitated 27 director sourcing applications with seven successful placements, as well as conducted seven board and director effectiveness evaluations.

Launched in 2018 under the Securities Commission Malaysia’s (SC) Corporate Governance Strategic Initiatives 2017–2020, ICDM plays an integral role as a one-stop centre that caters to the needs of directors, to empower and equip directors with the right skills, knowledge and mindset to enhance their professionalism.

As the national Institute of Directors, ICDM remains committed to its role as a key driver of excellence amongst boards and directors. As Corporate Malaysia makes headway into a more robust corporate governance standard and environment, ICDM will continue to spur initiatives to support the country’s transition and progress.

ICDM’s key initiatives will focus on enhancing its current offerings and capabilities, such as building ICDM’s bespoke programmes, strengthening its network of directors, as well as increase engagement with the director community.

Over the longer-term, ICDM is also working closely with regulators to building up a formal certification qualification for directors as a benchmark of standards and ensuring proper objective sourcing of independent directors from a credible pool underpinned by ICDM’s initiatives.

“At the end of the day, what is key for companies to future-proof their business is having the right board competency and readiness. As we move towards becoming a corporate governance best practice, ICDM hopes to collaborate with partners and stakeholders to champion the voices of Asean,” Lim concluded.

“We will continue to build and fortify the skillsets of directors as they take charge in leading their businesses.”