A Drastic Makeover and The World Through Different Lens

Recently I visited my sister Annemary.  She is extremely stylish, very beautiful and colourful.  She took one look at me and said, ‘you look really conservative’ – no surprise here,   Annemary is eleven years younger than me.   She pleaded with me to allow her to give me a makeover.   I am done with protesting, wanted a different look and I gave in- resulting in a radical change in my appearance. I decided I quite liked my refreshed look, whilst acknowledging that it is not a version I would have given myself!

Turning my attention to governance, I reflected on the effectiveness of governance reviews which can result in a range of different reconfigurations and changes.  Reviews go from the tweaking points to the very radical makeovers.   In a recent McKinsey Quarterly article ‘Board governance depends on where you sit’, author, William George, highlights that board governance is strongly influenced by the seat one holds.  He goes on to stress the importance of looking at governance through the eyes of each position – be it the role of the board chair, the chief executive, an honorary officer, a trustee or a volunteer.   A rounded view of governance effectiveness needs all perspectives.

The effective chief executive, in partnership with the Board, holds a clear strategic direction for the organisation.

The chair performs several roles.  The chair facilitates the gelling of Board members and the interlinking of committees.  Sometimes chairs enjoy little support to achieve great expectations.

Board officers bring their expertise and resourcefulness to enriching the board experience.

One size does not fit all and single structure works for all cases. Everyone’s contribution matters; for excellence, board players should acknowledge different points of view and talent.  High-level listening skills and wisdom combined with adequate self-awareness make governance performance a rewarding experience.

For more information read McKinsey Quarterly, February 2013.

For a factsheet of the 15 Vital Steps of a governance review send an email to tesse@leadershipgovernancemanagementbank.com

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