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 ›

  • Four times twice as much: how the Chair’s job has grown.

    November 27, 2022 by

    The latest edition of the Australian Company Director magazine quotes a senior board chair describing how the role has evolved in recent years: For the mathematically challenged, I think she’s saying that a board chair today has about eight times the typical workload an NED had, only a few years ago.  People unfamiliar with the… Read more

  • Ten minutes that will transform your (Zoom) board meetings

    September 13, 2021 by

    I’d guess that most of us have held more board meetings virtually than in person over the last 18 months. Remote meetings, still a rarity two years ago, are business as usual and here to stay. We’re learning how to make the most of them:  To interpret non-verbal signals (aka body language) from only our… Read more

  • The three levels of medalling, in board diversity

    August 26, 2021 by

    Over that inspiring fortnight of distraction, the Tokyo Olympics, two new verbs have joined the mainstream, as in ‘I can’t believe we’ve medalled … we were only aiming to podium at the next Games.’  As those verbs have entrenched themselves in the sports lexicon, so ‘diversity’ has become possibly the most discussed, most abused and most poorly understood term in… Read more

  • When your board member is the subject expert: three hidden traps

    July 5, 2021 by

    How often do we hear boards discussing the type of skills they’d like to attract … ‘Wouldn’t it be great if we had an engineer/micro-biologist/blockchain expert on the board?’ I’m fully in favour of making sure our boards have people with the right skills and experience for the business. We’ve all heard of corporate train-wrecks… Read more

  • When the Chair wants to become the Boss

    March 22, 2021 by

    Last week the New Zealand Herald revealed that, among candidates for the chief executive’s role at Greater Wellington Regional Council, the current Council Chair Daran Ponter had thrown his hat into the ring. It’s far from the first time that this has happened, not only in local government, and it can work perfectly well – as long… Read more

  • The (other) Rule of Six – and the mistake we make in using it

    September 14, 2020 by

    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

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