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 ›
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
Some chairs tell me they don’t believe in board-alone time because it shows a lack of trust in the CEO. Others use it ‘as needed,’ if the chair or a board member calls for it. I don’t agree with the former, and I’ll explain why, but I can easily understand how the latter approach, ‘as… Read more
Many people better qualified than me have taken to the ramparts to protest this loss of New Zealand’s only serious music channel and I imagine some Ministers are receiving a lot of feedback. But I do have many years of experience sitting in boardrooms, asking hard questions and formulating corporate strategies. So I’ve taken a… Read more
Six Steps to More Meaningful Minutes
As I write, I’ve just finished reviewing the draft minutes for a board meeting we held last week.
Why do many chairs and directors see this as largely a chore – and do they give the minutes the attention they really need? Are they ensuring that the minutes reflect accurately the decisions the board took, and the tone of the meeting; or do they spend their energy – and feel triumphant – uncovering the trivial typo or incorrect use of punctuation (we all know one of those, don’t we)?
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