Board Effectiveness

Board Diversity: What, Why and How

Written by on November 24, 2015 in Board Composition, Board Effectiveness, Governance with 0 Comments

What is Board Diversity? Board diversity has had a lot of press lately.  Mostly it’s been about the encouraging fact that the number of women on listed company boards is at last registering on the gauge. I rejoice in this, and I congratulate those women, but seriously: this is barely scratching the surface. Why does […]

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The Seven Habits of Highly Effective Directors

Written by on November 2, 2015 in Board Effectiveness with 3 Comments

Seven Habits that Make for Effective Directorship The late Stephen Covey published The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People in 1989.  It’s a long-term best-seller on the business and personal growth lists, and it’s still in print.  There’s nothing dated about the penetrating analysis he derived from long research, deep thinking, and his own consulting […]

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The Art of Constructive Disagreement

Written by on August 14, 2015 in Board Effectiveness with 3 Comments

The Why and How of Disagreeing Well Do you know how to disagree without disrespect?  Do you know how to say, We’ve come to different conclusions, but I understand your way of looking at this?  That’s how we create an outcome that’s better than either of us came up with alone.  That’s constructive disagreement. Years […]

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What Should Your Board Agenda Look Like?

Written by on May 18, 2015 in Board Effectiveness with 1 Comment

Is Your Board Agenda a Productivity Tool, or a Mere Convention? The average board in Australia meets for less than 60 hours a year.  And yet the quality of the board’s work can have more influence for good or ill than any other single factor in a company or organisation.  The board agenda is the […]

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The Perils of Groupthink

Written by on April 20, 2015 in Board Effectiveness with 2 Comments

Groupthink and Boards Groupthink (Orwellian word!) happens when our very powerful instinct to collaborate, to be part of the group, overrides our independent judgement.  It can happen to anyone.  Did you ever find yourself reflecting, after a meeting, “I wasn’t completely sure about that decision, but I went along because everyone else seemed in favour.  […]

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11 Board Derailers

Written by on February 16, 2015 in Board Effectiveness with 1 Comment

The Eleven Board Derailers A board can only function collectively.  A good board is a group of well-informed independent thinkers working their way to a consensus decision they can all live with. This is hard, and it takes more than good intentions.  Knowing where some of the traps and pitfalls lie can help directors avoid […]

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How Boards Annoy Management

Written by on August 24, 2014 in Board Effectiveness with 1 Comment

How Boards Annoy Management The “green line” between board and executive management is one of the most contested borders in the world. It is often crossed unwittingly, and frequently re-negotiated. There has to be a boundary between what the board spends its own time on, and what it delegates to management to deal with. At […]

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Should Your Accountant be on Your Board?

Written by on January 17, 2014 in Board Composition, Board Effectiveness with 1 Comment

Should your (or indeed an) accountant be a member of your board of directors?  Accountants, of course, have extremely valuable skills and in general extremely high professional standards. But is that reason enough?  I’d like to suggest three strong reasons to think carefully about this. 1. Tax Minimisation In all likelihood your accountant, like most […]

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The 5.5 Core Board Tasks

Written by on January 17, 2014 in Board Effectiveness, Board Role and Duties, Governance with 3 Comments

What’s the Job of the Board of Directors? I’ve written here about the basics of a board’s job.  In a quick summary, just what are the most important board tasks? At a recent event, I had 60 seconds to introduce this topic.  So I listed the 5.5 things a board should give its time and […]

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Who Evaluates the Board?

Written by on January 14, 2014 in Board Effectiveness, Board Role and Duties with 0 Comments

Who evaluates the board’s performance?  How does a board, let alone anyone else, know if the board is doing a good job? If you read the business press, it’s every journalist, commentator, stockbroker, proxy advisor and share tipster, at least for listed companies.  A board that tried to listen to all that feedback would never […]

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