Welcome to My Blog on Chairing the Board
I’ve thought of calling it CHAFTROU, or ‘Chairing, For The Rest of Us’, because most of the existing resources I’ve found (two books to be precise) are about chairing listed public companies … which most of us don’t.
Thousands of people have been given the privilege of chairing their board – a private or family company, a sports or cultural organisation, a charity, a government entity, a co-operative or any other type of entity – and most new chairs find themselves in the role for the first time with little preparation, besides what they may have observed from their predecessor. They soon learn that what they’ve seen is only a fraction of what it really involves. More ›
Last week, British Prime Minister Boris Johnson introduced the ‘Rule of Six,’ limiting gatherings to six people, in order to slow the spread of Covid-19. This brought to mind the older ‘Six Block Rule’ that directors have used to guide them on their capacity to accept new roles. The ‘Rule’ proposes that, in general, a… Read more
Some people tower over their profession: Albert Einstein – physical sciences, Chuck Yeager – test flying, Florence Nightingale – nursing (and statistics – check her out). In corporate governance, few are as respected as Professor Bob Garratt, author of ‘The Fish Rots from the Head’. It’s an excellent metaphor to illustrate his discussion of board leadership, albeit,… Read more
I don’t suppose any of us fully anticipated what we, and the rest of the world, have experienced in these last few months. Most of our boards have well considered and often colourful risk registers, which they review regularly. So why was this coronavirus such an ambush? How many registers contained something like: ‘Global pandemic, forcing… Read more
Every Leader of the Opposition in a parliamentary democracy should keep a copy of The Serenity Prayer on their desk: “Grant me – Serenity, to accept the things I cannot change; Courage, to change the things I can; and Wisdom, to know the difference.” The past is one thing none of us can change: it’s happened. Of… Read more
After the SARS outbreak of 2003, someone on the board of the All-England Club (or, more correctly, the All-England Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club), which runs the annual Wimbledon Tournament, asked exactly the right question: ‘What if …’ ‘What if we had another event like SARS and had to cancel?’ As a result, the Club… Read more
Chairing a board meeting is hard work and you feel tired at the end of it, right? I’m the same. It probably means you’re doing your job properly – actually your three jobs as chair: First, you’re managing the process of the meeting. To most people, this is your main role. Second, you’re still a… Read more
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