Podcasts


Environmental, social, and governance (ESG) practices are becoming essential strategic and operational priorities, with ESG outcomes increasingly core to company valuation calculations. Privately held and family-owned enterprises have sound business reasons to establish an ESG platform to keep them competitive. But boards must find new ways of working to meet rising expectations for successful performance on ESG indicators.

Listen as private company directors explore new options and imperatives with a long-time expert in corporate integrity practices.


We hope you enjoy all five podcasts and find them helpful. When you have finished listening, please take a moment to complete the ESG Insights evaluation. Your feedback is essential as we develop future podcasts.

Interested in continuing the ESG conversation? Corporate integrity expert Art Stewart and private company directors Deb Boyda and Venita Fields welcome you to a live ESG Insights Town Hall Meeting on Thursday, September 9, from 12:00–1:00 p.m. (CT). Learn more and register here.

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In this episode, Venita Fields MBA and Art Stewart MPM consider how ESG’s evolution is increasingly challenging private company board directors to redefine their roles and modernize their mission as a body.
How will boards reorientate their relationships to each other and rebrand internal power structures? How will they take on broader portfolios that involve an expanding landscape of risks, liabilities, and material/non-material competitive concerns? Some of these new, uncharted questions will be painful, awkward, and a cause for self-reflection.

ESG is upending private company traditions. Historically, the norms of private company board culture, director recruitment, relationship dynamics, and governance priorities and practices were defined by the prerogatives and advantages of operating in a closely held context. As a result, private companies enjoy less regulation, narrower scrutiny from stakeholders, significant avoidance of bureaucracy, more natural agility, and management approaches born out of company owners’ values and worldview.
Now, advanced ESG metrics and analytical capabilities are requiring different investments in R&D, customer experience innovations, risk management, and human capital capacity, among other areas.
Join us as Deb Boyda MSA and Art Stewart MPM discuss how board structures, processes, and functions must be redesigned to align with the transformed business operations needed to sustain durable competitiveness and avoid exposure to damaging risks or liabilities.

ESG factors will increasingly affect the competitiveness of privately or family-held companies, given the broadening interdependencies of today’s public and private markets. Adopting ESG standards requires private companies to be more transparent and accountable for their policies and actions, including how their ESG initiatives directly impact top-and bottom-line performance.
If board directors are unaccustomed to deep or direct conversation about the changing expectations for their business, the appropriate role for ESG practices in their enterprise, or their board’s limitations and failures, how will they adapt and flourish in this new world?
Join Venita Fields MBA and Art Stewart MPM as they discuss identifying outdated assumptions and addressing new priorities.

Navigating COVID and its aftermath continues to force private company board directors to grapple with dramatically changing business paradigms. Increasing pressure and scrutiny are being applied to both public and private enterprises to measure the real material impact of their responsibility initiatives on top and bottom-line performance. Whether these initiatives involve revenue, calculated and validated material risk reductions, operational and in-market innovations, resilience-building initiatives, or deepening customer engagement, directors need to acquire a greater working knowledge of ESG-related issues.
In this episode Deb Boyda MSA and Art Stewart MPM outline what this rising tide of priority concerns looks like.

America’s current policy debates are characterized by a tug of war between public and private interests. Climate change, leadership ethics, diversity, and equal opportunity are but a few of the themes playing out at this growing convergence of business priorities and public concerns.
As the ESG movement advances globally and nationally, financial markets and investors are looking for businesses to pursue profitability agendas more deliberately aligned with stakeholder-centric standards. Companies are expected to operationalize corporate values and policies and benchmark them against KPIs, measuring their impact upon stakeholder value creation.
Join us as Venita Fields MBA and Art Stewart MPM consider how boards can manage the delicate balance between a company’s appropriate role in change activism and the board’s own pragmatic fiduciary responsibilities.

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