Boardroom briefing: more directors for PNG, digital-savvy boards, predicting our tech future


Increasing the number of Papua New Guinea’s directors, why digitally-savvy boards matter, and a futurist’s award-winning podcast. Readings from around the world on business, leadership and management.

One of the first participants in the 2019 Director Development Program training course held recently. Credit: PNG Institute of Directors

Having a good board has never been more important, but PNG has historically had a relatively small pool of candidates to choose from for board positions.

Given this, the PNG Institute of Directors is to be applauded for its ongoing Director Development Program, which aims to refresh the skills of existing directors, and give up-and-coming younger executives the skills they need to be considered for future board positions. Dates for this year’s courses have been recently announced.

With so many directors sitting on multiple boards, anything that helps to increase the expertise, size and diversity of the pool must be a good thing.


A study found that successful companies with over $1 billion in revenues have digitally-savvy directors. Credit:

One attribute that is in short supply on boards in PNG and elsewhere is a solid understanding of the digital economy.

A recent study by MIT’s Sloan Management Review in the US concluded that there is now a clear connection between having digitally-savvy directors and financial performance, particularly in the largest companies.

‘We found that among companies with over $1 billion in revenues, 24 per cent had digitally savvy boards, and those businesses significantly outperformed others on key metrics — such as revenue growth, return on assets, and market cap growth,’ says the report.

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Let’s assume (for the sake of argument) that your business isn’t pulling in US$1 billion. Do you still need a digitally-savvy board?

With PNG’s internet connectivity set to improve markedly by the end of the year, thanks to new international and domestic cables, the answer must surely be yes.

The Next Billion Seconds

Mark Pesce

Talking of technology, some lucky readers will recall futurist Mark Pesce’s excellent and thought-provoking presentation, PNG in a connected world, at the 2017 Business Advantage PNG Investment Conference in Sydney.

If you want to keep in touch with technology trends and how they are impacting business, Pesce is now producing an award-winning podcast looking at how technology will impact our lives between now and 2050, called The Next Billion Seconds.

Recent editions have covered electric cars, robots, virtual reality, new developments in crowdfunding, and politics in the age of social media.

It’s every bit as polished and engaging as you would expect if you’ve seen Pesce in action.

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