26 May CONCERNS OVER BOARD DIVERSITY; GOOD NEWS FOR COMPANY DIRECTORS; LEADERSHIP IN A CRISIS
Welcome to today’s business and media intelligence, with insights collected over the past 24-hours.
GOOD NEWS FOR COMPANY DIRECTORS FOLLOWING TEMPORARY AMENDMENT TO THE CORPORATIONS ACT
- Company directors and executives will be relieved from continuous disclosure obligations for the next six months and further insulated from class action lawsuits, as the Federal Government seeks to protect business from the economic uncertainty fuelled by the coronavirus. Treasurer Josh Frydenberg said the temporary amendments will enable companies to more confidently provide guidance to the market. Read more in the AFR here. (Subscriber access)
CONCERNS OVER BOARD DIVERSITY IN TIMES OF TURMOIL
- The Australian Institute of Company Directors has “serious” concerns that boards may put less emphasis on diversity when they appoint directors in times of turmoil. AICD chief Angus Armour said that there was a danger that listed company chairs would return to their past habits and appoint acquaintances with little regard to gender balance. The proportion of women on ASX 200 boards has remained flat between January and April. Read the full AFR article here. (Subscriber access)
WORKING FROM HOME 1 – OFFICE SUPPLIES SKYROCKET
- With many employees working from home, the demand for laptops and office equipment from China jumped by up to 40 per cent during the COVID-19 shutdown in April. In Australia, preliminary data from the ABS showed that while overall imports dropped in April, they were held up by a massive spend in office equipment including computers, printers, scanners, accounting machines and cash registers. Read more in the AFR here. (Subscriber access)
WORKING FROM HOME 2 – IT’S RISKY
- Robert Gottliebsen writes about the dangers of working from home for too long in his column in The Australian. He says that while working from home is going to be an important part of future business and government life, there are hazards to both the CBD areas and to businesses. Another problem with having most office workers at home is that there is a great less personal interaction which makes it harder for younger employees to learn from their older peers. Read his column here. (Subscriber access)
- Meanwhile, Citi investment bank boss predicts resurgence of offices, arguing bankers need face-to-face contact. Despite still being able to complete large deals, Mr Yabarra is cautious that investment banks have only been able to make the most of remote working because of capital that was accumulated previously when people met face to face. Read more in The Financial Times here. (Subscriber access)
GOODBYE BOOZE, FOR NOW
- COVID-19 has not been a full-blown disaster for the drinks business, yet. Sales for at-home-consumption have boomed, proving that drinking is not just a way to celebrate good times but to endure bad ones. However, even if there is plenty of built-up demand for social lubrication when lockdowns end, a golden age of booze is probably over. The immediate reasons for this are social distancing and economic hardship. Read the Economist’s farewell to the “golden age” of drinking here.
LEADERSHIP IN A CRISIS CAN BE SEDUCTIVE
- “A crisis can be seductive when the decisions we make daily really matter… but no business can thrive or survive on that type of management for an extended period of time. The important consideration for leaders is to understand when to transition from crisis management to a more standard type of management.” – Amanda Lacaze, CEO of Lynas Corporation
- Yesterday Cannings CEO Renée Bertuch led a discussion about crisis leadership, as part of WPP AUNZ’s WPP’d Smart series. She was joined by Rose Herceg and Lynas CEO Amanda Lacaze to discuss the role of leaders and some key considerations for leaders navigating through the crisis and into the recovery period. You can download the report here, and link to the 30 minute recording here. There is a few minutes of poor reception, but please persevere as its clears up quickly.
Our daily briefing is not meant to be a summary of media coverage but rather, insights that may be helpful in understanding how organisations are communicating with stakeholders in a time of crisis – and what comes next. Sign up via email.