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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 ›

  • 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

  • The Four Levels of Board Maturity … and what you need to do about yours

    July 28, 2020 by

    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

  • Who saw that coming? The A.R.T. of Risk Governance

    June 25, 2020 by

    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

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