Articles on Governance and Leadership in Purpose Driven Organisations.
The Board and Risk Management
We remain in the midst of a global pandemic. We have all had to think, respond and behave differently as a result. Things that we took for granted before 2020 are no longer possible or require a different approach. Our expectations have changed. Our priorities have changed. The pandemic has created uncertainty for us all. This is in addition to other factors that create uncertainty in our environment, business and personal worlds.
What is a Director Identification Number?
The Australian Government is working to modernise the Australian Business Register. As part of this project, as of November 1st 2021, The Australian Government has introduced the Director Identification Number (DIN) system. Table of Contents What is a Director ID? What are Director IDs For? Why have Director IDs been introduced? Why do I need a Director ID? What is the format of a Director ID? Who needs a Director ID?
Board Culture CPR
Long ago, in a land far away, there was a corporate board with members alive with passion, respected by their peers, easily engaging with senior management, and receiving accolades from general staff. Meetings started and ended on time, agendas were adhered to, and meeting minutes were accurate. The ambiance from the top down was warm and collegial, and whistleblowers were praised and rewarded for their candor. Does this sound like fantasy land?
Directors Duties – Understanding Core Business
Directors’ duties, as prescribed by law, set the scene for how a board constructs and operationalises its governance model and structure, roles and responsibilities, policies and procedures and undertakes its work and activities. Beyond directors’ duties, a shared understanding between directors of the key concepts underlying their organisations (and their practical application) provides for more effective agreement on how their board and organisation will be configured, thereby enabling fundamental governance principles and practices to be enacted.
How to Handle Conflicts of Interest On Your Not-for-profit Board
Conflicts of interest are likely to arise in any not-for-profit organisation. How you manage them can improve or damage your organisation’s reputation. A conflict of interest arises when the interests of a not-for-profit organisation’s leadership, or their friends or family, conflicts with the best interests of the organisation. The three prongs to handling conflicts of interest are: identifying them, putting steps in place to prevent them, and managing them well when they arise.
What Is It About the Role of the Chair?
Once upon a time there was a board member who was passionate and diligent but inexperienced and naïve who was asked to take on the role of Chair of the Board. “I’m really flattered. I don’t really know what I have to do other than chair some meetings, so how hard can it be?” they thought to themselves. A fairy tale it might appear to be, but this was me. Twenty years on, I reflect on my transition from well meaning board member with little experience to having held the role of chair on a few occasions in my career.
Which Comes First – the Purpose or the Behaviour?
The theme of the Better Boards Conference for 2020 was ‘passionate directors – purposeful boards’. The conference website neatly defined a ‘purposeful board’ as one that is “united, collegial, focused and disciplined, led by a chair who not only facilitates discussions and decisions, but is guided by strategy, KPI’s and timeframes.” One might gauge from this definition that contrastingly, a board that lacks purpose is therefore divided, argumentative, disinterested and irrational.
Lessons Learned from a Listening Leader
“Um, Jeremy, there’s an issue with the data in the Board paper.” So it began. I’d been in the role but days as the new CEO, taking over a team who were finalising a major meeting with our Board, including a significant financial decision that had to be made.** The words from one of my team stopped me in my tracks. Somehow, the data on which we were framing the paper was wrong.
Compliance and Creativity: the strategic obligations of directors
One of the main roles of a not-for-profit (NFP) board of directors is to develop and cultivate a long-term strategy for the organisation, which furthers the objects of that organisation.1 Despite the fact that directors appreciate that strategic planning forms part of their role on the board, directors often err on the side of caution when strategizing, or avoid developing a strategic vision for their organisation entirely. Reasons for this include:
The Discipline in Developing a Winning Culture
Culture is the buzzword of current day governance. A panacea for underperformance, inefficiency and conduct risk. Boards and executives are tasked with developing the right culture in their organisation. But we need to talk about what this means in practice for directors. There is increasing expectation that directors will get out and ‘kick the tyres’ to develop greater understanding of their organisation and its culture, empowering more active and meaningful leadership ‘from the top’ by boards.