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 ›

  • The shift we’ve been expecting in Air New Zealand’s strategy?

    February 27, 2023 by

    Has Air New Zealand’s market strategy changed – or is it simply now more obvious? I’ll start by saying that I have been a relatively frequent, usually satisfied, flyer with Air New Zealand for a long time (my Frequent Flyer number has five digits and I’ve accumulated 14 ‘banked years’ of membership). In the last… Read more

  • No such thing as ‘Invisible Leadership’

    January 30, 2023 by

    I usually hesitate to comment on current events, because experience shows that matters are seldom as they appear in the fog of a fast-moving situation. This weekend’s catastrophic storm event in Auckland, however, speaks for itself and calls for an immediate reaction. First, I find it ironic that a Mayor, who was elected on a… Read 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

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