Wednesday, July 12, 2017

Getting Smart by Creating Disruption in the Board Room


A key lever for change in any sector, is the capacity to challenge current thinking about a problem or situation. The Engaging Young Leaders on Aged Care and Community Boards 10th Unconvention ‘Disruption in the Board Room’ aims to do just that. We are bringing Board Directors, CEOs, Senior Executives and academia together to improve Board governance in the not for profit sector.
 
We know that organisations need to innovate to survive, but do we really need to disrupt?
 
Governments at both the State and Federal levels are disrupting the aged care industry and community services sector. To set up for success we need to continuously reinvent our organisations in light of new technologies, new entrants into our markets and new customers wanting different services and products to meet their changing needs.
 
This Unconvention explores how to think like a disruptor so your NFP board and organisation is not left behind.

 You will meet change makers including Jahna Cedar who will share with us her take on ‘Leading in Uncertain Futures’ and Robert Gordon who will speak on ‘How Boards can Disrupt the Disruption’. In addition you will have the opportunity to meet the winners of our Difference Makers Diversity Award winners, Justine Colyer, CEO, Rise Network and Swancare Chair, Etta Palumbo, listen to how you can create a diverse board. You will also have the opportunity to be part of an industry innovator breakout discussion. 
 
Innovation and disruption - some argue they are two sides of the same coin – others argue that disruptors are innovators, but not all innovators are disruptors. As leaders we need to position our organisations and we need to be smart and ambitious in recognising disruption is inevitable.
 
We need to innovate and adopt the practice of disruption as a strategy so we learn and work through how to manage it.

 To do this we need to be learners, we need mentors, people who will inspire us, coach us and we need boards that support and challenge us. We need to create teams tasked with being ‘disruptive ideas makers and innovators’.


I hope I see you there!

 

Thursday, May 4, 2017

Five Reasons to Nominate for the Difference Maker Diversity Awards



I was speaking with a colleague the other day about the Difference Maker Diversity Awards, she said that she was a bit too busy to stop and think about this award opportunity.  I was thinking that whilst I understand we are all busy, I also thought how we don’t do ourselves any favours when we don’t share the good things we are doing to champion diversity on boards.

I know it takes time, energy and concentration to complete an awards nomination form but ours is so simple and it can bring great benefits. Here are a few I could think of

1.    Boosting the person or organisation you nominate’s profile
Winning an award is guaranteed to give you a higher profile within the industry.  This award offers the opportunity to receive lots of media attention, and all nominees will be acknowledged.

2.    Boosting credibility
Whether you win the award or not, the simple fact that you have been nominated signals to the sector that you are worthy of their attention.

3.    Increased confidence in the board and the business
A higher profile and boost to your credibility or the board’s credibility can bring more business.   If you are good enough for an award, who is going to argue with it? You get to say ‘Award Winning’ in your marketing material!

4.    Publicity
An award nomination is a great story to use in your media efforts particularly at a local level.   It gives you a story for your press release which will capture media attention. This could bring new and diverse board members who see you as inclusive.

5.    Recognise your own achievements or your boards achievements
In many ways this is the most significant reason for preparing your nomination form. The questions really make you think.  You need to analyse what you have done, how you have done it, what worked and what didn’t.  Too often we look at what we have done wrong.  Completing a nomination forces our attention towards the things we’ve done right.

Nominations for the Difference Maker Diversity Awards are easy - you can self-nominate or be nominated by another individual or organisation. You will be asked the following:

Individual Award Nomination
1. Describe the leadership shown and actions taken by the nominee to promote, encourage and champion diversity on a board.
2. Demonstrate how the action(s) towards diversity have improved the board and/or organisation.

Board Award Nomination
1.    Describe the strategies implemented to promote diversity on the board.
2. Demonstrate the outcome(s) that have been achieved because of the improved diversity on the board.

All nominations are entered online at https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/dfawards.

Winners will be presented with a trophy, certificate and an opportunity to present at the August Unconvention as part of the Engaging Young Leaders on Aged Care and Community Boards program.

For further details please call me on 94506233 or email me at [email protected]

I urge you to give it a go!

Tuesday, April 18, 2017

Why are the Difference Maker Diversity Awards Important?

I was recently asked why we established the Difference Maker Diversity Awards, which is a really great question to be asked. This question gave me the occasion to explain why I think awards like this are so important. Our world is filled with uncertainty and one thing that we can do as leaders is look for understanding. We can do this by looking for the drivers of change or we can seek to understand by getting a different perspective.

I explained to the person that these awards will recognise a board and a director in the WA Not for Profit sector who are really seeking to engage with people who bring a different perspective. This helps them to manage uncertainty. They do this by championing diversity in the boardroom. They actively seek out people who are different from them, people who view the world from another perspective.

To engage diversity can take courage, courage to reflect on your own behaviour, attitudes and beliefs relating to differences.  

The Difference Maker Diversity Awards highlight those who have reflected, those who are showing exceptional leadership, courage and commitment in promoting diversity to achieve better governance outcomes for their organisation and society.

The Difference Maker Diversity Awards gives us the occasion to showcase the innovative programs, initiatives and strategies that boards are using to enhance diversity and inclusion.        
I ask you, do you know a diversity champion? Champions are people who are respecting, valuing and including of differences in ethnicity, gender, age, national origin, disability, sexual orientation, education, profession and religion - these are core principles of diversity and inclusion.

It could be an individual or Board that has reviewed the diversity of board membership. It may be a board who has widened their board recruitment practices, or implemented a board diversity policy. Maybe they have undertaken some diversity training and improved board processes to be more inclusive? 

Nominations for the Difference Maker Diversity Awards are easy - you can self-nominate or be nominated by another individual or organisation. You will be asked the following: 

Individual Award Nomination

1. Describe the leadership shown and actions taken by the nominee to promote, encourage and champion diversity on a board.
2.  Demonstrate how the action(s) towards diversity have improved the board and/or organisation. 

Board Award Nomination

1.       Describe the strategies implemented to promote diversity on the board.
2.   Demonstrate the outcome(s) that have been achieved because of the improved diversity on the board.

All nominations are entered online 

Winners will be presented with a trophy, certificate and an opportunity to present at the August Unconvention as part of the Engaging Young Leaders on Aged Care and Community Boards program.


For further details please call me on 94506233 or email me at [email protected]

Tuesday, June 14, 2016

An Evening with the Authors of Difference Makers

Join me and Alicia Curtis to celebrate the launch of our first co-authored book, Difference Makers: A Leaders Guide to Championing Diversity of Boards.



This book challenges the debate about who can lead and who can provide value on Boards. It gathers together the latest research on board diversity along with the author’s personal experiences of leading the Engaging Young Leaders on Aged Care and Community Boards program in Western Australia.
Event attendees will enjoy:
  • A Q/A session with the authors about the themes of the book
  • Get your own copy of the book
  • Opportunities to meet and network with a diverse range of leaders
  • Canap├ęs and beverages
 We’ve already had some wonderful comments about the book:
“Difference Makers: A Leaders Guide to Championing Diversity of Boards is a powerful leadership and governance story that Nicky and Alicia based on their own personal learning, experience and wisdom”
Angie Paskevicius, CEO Holyoake and 2015 Telstra WA Business Woman of the Year
“Difference Makers: A Leaders Guide to Championing Diversity of Boards is an outstanding insight into how to effectively embrace diversity a true roadmap for creating better organisations better companies and a better society”
Rhys Williams 2015 Young West Australian of the Year
Event Details:
Date: 29th June 2016
Time: 5.30-7.30pm
Venue:  Southcare Central, Corner of Pether Road and Bickley Crescent, Manning

You can buy more books at the event or buy online here.  Bulk discounts apply if you wish to order for your Board, staff or next event. Please send me an email to arrange this [email protected]

Saturday, June 4, 2016

Launching Difference Makers

On 24th May, Bankwest kindly supported the launch of Difference Makers: A leader’s guide to championing diversity on boards.  This book is about re-framing the debate about who can participate in a board directorship so that differences are not seen as negatives but as positives. We share the latest research on diversity, Board Director profiles as well as our journey with the Engaging Young Leaders on Boards program.
We must thank Suzy Lou Photography for the wonderful event photography (see below) and Ellie Del Cashin for providing the live music during the evening.  Thank you to everyone who attended including our publisher, Lesley Williams from Major Street Publishing who flew over from Melbourne to attend.
You can buy your copy of the book here.  Alyceum is also providing thought provoking presentations and workshops for staff and Board Directors about the book themes – diversity, leadership and governance.
If you missed out on attending this event, Southcare has just announced they will be hosting an Evening with the Authors event on the Wednesday, 29th June. Watch out for registration details coming very soon.

Check out the launch event photos below!

Tuesday, April 19, 2016

What is the Directors Role in Diversity?




A key part of any Directors role is the lead themselves and to lead others. Difference Makers: A Leader’s Guide to Championing Diversity on Boards invites directors to firstly explore their own commitment to diversity and then provides valuable insights into how to lead others in the boardroom. Fundamental to this is how good boards put time and effort in working together to develop a high performance environment.

This means that every director not only the chair, deputy chair, treasurer or secretary can make a difference, every director needs to be a diversity and inclusion champion.

What is the Director’s Role in this?

Your role as a director is to work with the others to create an engaged, inclusive culture. You want to be part of creating a board environment that is inclusive. In order to influence inclusive and exclusive behaviours you need to understand what factors inhibit or enhance these behaviours. You have to recognise what habits you need to create in relation to your behaviour and the behaviours of other directors.
What do good boards do?  Among the objectives of a good board are:

  • Creating a board charter that sets out the board’s purpose and defining the shared values (which will be drawn from the organisational values).
  • Articulating how directors will communicate with each other.
  •  Setting out how directors will behave and what the other directors will do when members do not behave to the agreed standards.
  • Expressing what are the positive habits members will adopt as part of their directorship.

Another important element of a high performing board is its ability to create a new type of culture required in modern governance and one which Nadler describes as an ‘engaged’ board. A board culture is the result of a group of people having a shared set of values and from this, the group determines what are appropriate and inappropriate behaviours in particular situations. The shared values are reflected in the beliefs and norms of each director and in-turn the whole board.
Difference Makers sets out these board values and norms to support director who seek to behave in line with these characteristics. We know that not every board director will, so your role as a leader is the process of social influence, to maximise the efforts of other directors, to achieve the organisation’s objectives. Difference Makers offers various resources to support you in developing your commitment to diversity so you can lead a more diverse and inclusive board room. 

ABOUT THE BOOK
Join us in championing diversity on boards – become a Difference Maker.
Difference Makers reframes the debate about who can participate in a board directorship so that differences are not seen as negatives but as positives. Dr Nicky Howe and Alicia Curtis share their experience and research on how different points of view and different experiences can enhance problem-solving and spark innovation; it can build better boards and ultimately better organisations. 
Get your copy at here.  Launching May 2016.

Monday, April 18, 2016

Essential Secrets for Exceptional Board Directors



Prior to Peter Cosgrove being appointed as the Governor General he played a vital leadership role when we said the following: 

“Imagine if hundreds of talented younger female and male directors had a term with an ASX 300 listed company or large private or not-for-profit enterprise and worked side by side with Australia’s top directors. The country’s pool of next-generation directors would be transformed”.

He understood that boards play an integral role in the success of any organisation and that just as business needs diversity of talent so do boards.

Like the Governor General we want to lead a debate about creating diversity on boards.

Our latest book Difference Makers: A Leader’s Guide to Championing Diversity on Boards seeks to help you join us in challenging the current thinking about who has the ‘right stuff’ to sit on boards. Difference Makers provides readers with the latest insights into how traditional approaches to securing directors who are reliable, like-minded and known entities is not enough in this volatile, complex, ambiguous and uncertain (VUCA) world and neither is a narrow interpretation of a directors role.

There are increasing reputational, legal and compliance risks, and an increasing number of stakeholders who are scrutinising the actions of boards and speaking out when they don’t like what they see. This higher-stakes environment is increasingly putting board composition in the spotlight.

 We only have to remember cases like Enron and James Hardy to realise that board culture and ethics are key characteristics of effective board governance. 

Boards continue to face ever-expanding agendas, uncertain market conditions, legislative changes, funding cuts, rapid technology changes and the challenge of complying with regulations in more and more jurisdictions where their organisations want to do business. An evolution is under way, and boards now are beginning to realise that it is the breadth of perspective, not the mere inclusion of various diverse traits, that benefits the organisation. Not only are directors’ professional skills and expertise coming under more scrutiny but so too is the mix of ages, gender and ethnicity of board directors.

In building the business case for board diversity, Difference Makers highlights the national and international research.  Board members from a range of sectors offer their insights about board diversity and facts and statistics are used to demonstrate the financial, cultural, customer, reputational and innovation benefits that are improved through board director diversity.

ABOUT THE BOOK
Join us in championing diversity on boards – become a Difference Maker.
Difference Makers re-frames the debate about who can participate in a board directorship so that differences are not seen as negatives but as positives. Dr Nicky Howe and Alicia Curtis share their experience and research on how different points of view and different experiences can enhance problem-solving and spark innovation; it can build better boards and ultimately better organisations. 
Get your copy at here.  Launching May 2016.