In the face of the changes that are coming to corporate governance, boards would be well advised to begin their examination of the input they receive from shareholders and stakeholders by looking for common ground.
A synonym for input is contribution. Imagine if boards saw the comments and suggestions that they receive from shareholders as the way that shareholders want to contribute to the improvement and long-term strength of the company.
Trust fosters trust. If boards want to engender more trust among shareholders, they can start by trusting that their shareholders sincerely care about the issues they raise and want what’s best for the company and all shareholders.
Boards that start with finding common ground with shareholders can then build outward. Neither directors nor shareholders expect to be in complete agreement. But such an approach is respectful and has as its goal the shared long-term health of the enterprise.