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

Avoiding ‘organisational Alzheimer’s’

With office bearers changing quite regularly in most not-for-profit organisations, there is a risk of corporate memory loss – and metaphorically suffering ‘neurodegenerative issues’. Consequently, the maintenance and use of key governance document registers is an essential measure. To that end, it is helpful to review which documents qualify for inclusion in these registers. The… Continue reading Avoiding ‘organisational Alzheimer’s’

Sustainability finally going mainstream

The landmark speech on Climate Change and the Economy (12 March) by Guy Debelle, Deputy Governor of the Reserve Bank, and the APRA climate change survey (20 March) of 38 large entities, across all regulated industries, signal mainstream acceptance of the reality that climate change obliges all of us to take preventive measures and prepare… Continue reading Sustainability finally going mainstream

Magnetic forces in board decision making

The recent Hayne Royal Commission generated much commentary on the behaviour of banks and other financial institutions, and their preoccupation with profits over compliance (‘performance’ over ‘conformance’) has been a dominant theme. Risk managers in many of these large organisations have been treated as blockers of growth, and consulted late (if at all) when new… Continue reading Magnetic forces in board decision making

IT Governance lessons

As noted in some earlier posts, learning from others’ mistakes is the least painful way of avoiding trouble, provided we can apply those lessons meaningfully in our own circumstances. This latest case study arises from problems encountered in yet another large scale publicly funded IT project.  It offers numerous governance insights, which in my view,… Continue reading IT Governance lessons

Nudging your board towards better decision-making

If you would like to help your directors to be more effective decision-makers, you will find the Behavioural Government report from the Behavioural Insights Team of interest. While it is sub-titled “Using behavioural science to improve how governments make decisions” it could just as readily have been styled “Using behavioural science to improve board governance“,… Continue reading Nudging your board towards better decision-making

(Shadow) values dictate behaviour

For an insight into how we can all trick ourselves into saying one thing and doing another, The Ethics Centre report on their review of Cricket Australia’s culture is a valuable resource. Peter Drucker’s observation that ‘culture eats strategy for breakfast’ has been acknowledged as a fundamental truth for many years, and yet we continue… Continue reading (Shadow) values dictate behaviour

Improving board deliberations

In my view, the quality of board decision-making is usually determined less by the time invested in an issue at the board table than the time spent before the meeting considering what points should be made and questions raised in the deliberations. I recently updated my Director’s Deliberative Checklist for a client, and thought I… Continue reading Improving board deliberations