A climate for change

As hundreds of thousands of people of all ages join in the global #climatestrike, the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent organisations has published The Cost of Doing Nothing, a report on the humanitarian impact of climate change. This is just the latest in a swag of reports and studies on climate change… Continue reading A climate for change

‘Curbing’ Social Responsibility – the new CSR

Government ministers’ rebukes of corporate leaders who comment on social issues have received news coverage again in recent days. The Assistant Minister to the Prime Minister, Ben Morton, criticised companies acting as “self-appointed moral guardians”. This is consistent with 2017 remarks by Minister Peter Dutton that companies should “stick to their knitting” rather than using… Continue reading ‘Curbing’ Social Responsibility – the new CSR

Driving value or being driven by fear

A response to ‘apocalyptic’ change narratives Some people love horror movies. They enjoy the adrenaline pumping through them as they imagine themselves the victims of some malign character or force, all the while knowing that it is a fantasy – a waking dream from which they will wake when the movie ends. There is an… Continue reading Driving value or being driven by fear

Governance ‘lines of sight’

To avoid oversights, directors need to ensure effective oversight. How ironic is it that a key governance term can have opposite meanings depending on the context in which it is used? ‘Oversight‘ is one of the roles of board directors, meaning they oversee (monitor) the implementation of the strategy they developed, along with the organisation’s… Continue reading Governance ‘lines of sight’

‘Mystery’ panelists aid selection

Having completed selection interviews with the assistance of a panel of senior and experienced personnel, there are usually some further processes required before confirming that an offer should be made to a preferred candidate. As well as reference checks to verify that claims made by the candidate are backed up by people who worked closely… Continue reading ‘Mystery’ panelists aid selection

Golden means or ends?

The desirability of ethical behaviour is universally acknowledged, and this has been particularly evident as we review the findings of recent Royal Commissions in this country. Unethical decisions made by senior personnel holding ‘positions of trust’ appear to have been one of the consistent themes. Politicians, pundits and the media tend to characterise these behaviours… Continue reading Golden means or ends?

Sustainable purposes

The not-for-profit sector is sometimes called the ‘for purpose’ sector, as this reflects the way organisations in the sector generally share common goals ‘for society‘. Many companies in the ‘for profit’ sector have engaged social license, corporate social responsibility, and sustainability issues over recent years, and met with a mixed reaction. Sometimes they were accused… Continue reading Sustainable purposes

Proof, clarity and compliance

I recall apologising to a senior politician once for troubling him to pose for a photo with my office bearers. His reply was disarmingly direct – “If there’s no photo, it didn’t happen”. A similar message was offered in the newly published Joint Statement on board minutes from the AICD and the Governance Institute. My… Continue reading Proof, clarity and compliance

“All models are wrong, but some are useful”

Originally a reflection on statistical modeling, this quote from British statistician George E. P. Box can also be helpfully applied to most business and planning models commonly used in strategic planning and governance deliberations. The quote is similar to American scientist and philosopher Alfred Korzybski’s remarks that “the map is not the territory” and that… Continue reading “All models are wrong, but some are useful”