Ten minutes that will transform your (Zoom) board meetings

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 ourContinue reading Ten minutes that will transform your (Zoom) board meetings

The three levels of medalling, in board diversity

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 inContinue reading “The three levels of medalling, in board diversity”

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

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-wrecksContinue reading “When your board member is the subject expert: three hidden traps”

When the Chair wants to become the Boss

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 longContinue reading “When the Chair wants to become the Boss”

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

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, aContinue reading “The (other) Rule of Six – and the mistake we make in using it”

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

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,Continue reading “The Four Levels of Board Maturity … and what you need to do about yours”

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

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, forcingContinue reading “Who saw that coming? The A.R.T. of Risk Governance”

What’s the Plan, New Zealand? Three strategic questions we need to ask

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. OfContinue reading “What’s the Plan, New Zealand? Three strategic questions we need to ask”

The Wisdom of Wimbledon: Covered Are We

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 ClubContinue reading “The Wisdom of Wimbledon: Covered Are We”

Chairing in the Time of Physical Separation* – Six Tips for Chairing Remote Board Meetings

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 aContinue reading “Chairing in the Time of Physical Separation* – Six Tips for Chairing Remote Board Meetings”