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.