The discussion centred on the challenges of finding leadership vision and inspiration in such an unsettled geopolitical and social global landscape.
Listening to stakeholders, inside and outside the company, is a key mechanism, noted Helle:
“I’m saying listen to all of these activist investors or be that activist stakeholders. Listen! It’s advice. I would rather, as a board member, have that discussion internally and be that internal activist. Have that person around the boardroom table that says, ‘how will others think about us?’ Then I would wait to actually get that, some would call, attack.
This is not about, ‘oh, we’re going to attack.’ This is about having better businesses for the future. Not only for the company, but also for all of those shareholders, all of those stakeholders..
‘So you need, as a company, as a leader, to understand what is it that your key stakeholders want? And what’s the consequences of the decisions that you make? Not only in the short term, but also in the long term?”
Read — or listen — to the interview in full.