PODCAST: Boards Should Invest More Time on Foresight

PODCAST: Boards Should Invest More Time on Foresight

David R. Beatty recently appeared on the popular podcast, “Board Governance with Evan Epstein”. 


In this episode, I talk with David Beatty, one of the most experienced Canadian directors and educators about his career and thoughts on governance, including his service on 40 different boards of directors, 9 of them as Chair of public companies. We discuss several governance hot topics, including long-term strategies for boards, dual-class shares, ESG, the job of a director generally, the current state of boards, and more in this fascinating conversation.



  1. His experience in Papua New Guinea [3:57]
  2. Sailing in the South Pacific [7:17]
  3. His first board: the OK Tedi Development Corporation [12:20]
  4. His management roles: Gardiner Capital Group and Weston Foods [17:53]
  5. The founding of the Canadian Coalition for Good Governance [19:29]
  6. Peter Drucker’s “Follow the Wagon Train Strategy” [21:35]
  7. Board Games (Globe and Mail’s ranking of Canada’s corporate boards) [23:12]
  8. Joining the Rotman School of Management (University of Toronto) [25:34]
  9. The story of the ICD-Rotman Director Education Program [26:47]
  10. Cultural advantage of Canada for director education [32:18]
  11. Separating Chair/CEOs in Canada [33:41]
  12. Short/Long term strategies for boards. His article in the Globe and Mail [35:37]
  13. His take on dual-class share structures [40:07]
  14. His take on ESG [47:00]
  15. The job of a director: hindsight, oversight and foresight [49:30]
  16. Directors as “gifted amateurs” [54:00]
  17. His recommendation on director education [57:21]
  18. On rowing [58:29]
  19. His current state of mind: “most boards will never work” [01:00]
  20. How to find David Beatty online: [01:02]
    1. LinkedIn
    2. Personal website: chairmanofboard.com
    3. The David and Sharon Johnston Centre for Corporate Governance Innovation


David Beatty is an adjunct professor and Conway chair of the Clarkson Centre for Business Ethics and Board Effectiveness at the Rotman School of Management. Over his career, he has served on more than 39 boards of directors and been chair of nine publicly traded companies. He was the founding managing director of the Canadian Coalition for Good Governance (2003 to 2008). A version of this article will also appear in the Winter 2017 edition of Rotman Management, published by the University of Toronto’s Rotman School of Management.


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