Investors continue to press boards to examine their composition: Does your board diversity support the range of challenges on the road ahead? Are director skill sets aligning with your long-term strategy? Are you telling the board’s story in a way that instills investor confidence in your vision?
In this episode, next-gen director Erin Lantz, board member with TrueCar, reflects on key board responsibilities amid a landscape of increasing shareholder pressures.
As a member of the Next Gen Board Leaders, Lantz discusses the challenges of joining a board in her 30s—and how her proactive approach to forging social relationships in the boardroom has paid dividends. Host TK Kerstetter then pushes the discussion a step further to glean Lantz’s perspective on board diversity and shareholder engagement. As an executive with Zillow Group, she regularly interacts with investors on the management side—an experience she believes enhances her interactions from the board side:
Provided that there [are] clear policies around the topics and frequency at which board members are expected to engage with investors, I think a proactive approach to engaging with investors is really healthy. In both contexts, I find that those conversations with investors help push my thinking of the issues at hand. I think they also give [me] an opportunity to have more nuanced conversations with investors that better explain the board’s thinking about a particular issue.
“Ultimately our interests should be aligned,” stressed Lantz of investors and board members. “We’re out there to serve the shareholders… [H]aving that mindset [of] engagement—rather than avoidance—is going to be more productive and will set us up for better outcomes.”