• Shayne Leslie

Building and Renewing Strength | Board Succession Planning and Governance


Ask yourself the question; What type of person will be sitting in my director or CEO chair in three years from now?

It might be you. It might be someone different.

If it’s going to be you sitting in that chair three years from now, how have you ‘succeeded’ yourself from yourself sitting in the seat today? That is, how have you continued to add value considering the board’s changing strategies, and updated your skill sets to serve effectively?

If it isn’t going to be you sitting in the seat, what did you do to make sure the person succeeding you is right for your organisation?

Succession planning is becoming increasingly strategically important. This is especially true for small to mid-tier clubs and not-for-profits who don’t have the resources to employ specialist middle managers. We’re better at talking about CEO succession planning, although many boards do not have a CEO succession plan in place either.

Sitting on a board of directors requires preparation, attention to detail, and having the right skills for the job. But more directors are saying someone on their board isn’t measuring up (PwC, Annual Directors Performance Survey, 2016). 35% of directors say someone on their board should be replaced. The most common reasons why: they’re not prepared for meetings, they lack the right expertise, some cite aging, while others say overstepping the boundaries of the oversight role.

Most board members don’t look far beyond the boardroom for new directors. In most cases, they still turn to what they know: themselves. In fact, the most common source is fellow board member recommendations. This likely contributes to the “same old, same old” criticism that some observers have of boards, as well as concerns about a lack of board diversity. But a shift is starting to happen prompting boards to use less traditional sources to find new directors.

PwC reports that there are significant differences in male and female director views on diversity. Female directors are twice as likely to believe diversity leads to enhanced board effectiveness. It can be argued that the lack of women on club boards reflects the significant lack of women in club leadership positions. While gender representation can be important, boards should aim for diversity of perspective. However, placing diverse perspectives on your board will fail if other leadership and governance issues are not addressed.

What I would like to know from you

As part of my preparation for the RSL&SA conference presentation on board succession planning and governance, I would like to know your point of view. Email me and tell;

  • What sources do you use to recruit new board members?

  • Do you believe board diversity leads to enhanced performance?

  • Do you believe that any of your board members should be replaced for under-performance?

  • What’s the number one governance aspect that may improve your board’s performance?

  • What’s the number one aspect that prevents successful board rejuvenation?

We offer two approaches to Board Succession Planning and Governance:

Program 1. Advanced Board and Director Development

While many directors have completed mandatory training and attended industry seminars, the Advanced Board and Directors Development program appreciates that different boards have different needs at different times. This program doesn’t consider replacing you; it looks at altering and expanding your leadership and governance perspective. Includes;

  1. Strategic planning – with an emphasis on leadership and governance, as well as exploring new business models, investments, and technology

  2. Training needs analysis – based on the strategic plan, building the confidence and skills of individual directors, board, the CEO, and senior management team

  3. Leadership – adopting different perspectives and a culture of inquiry, how your style affects decision making, risk, and in-group bias, and what is ‘visible leadership’

  4. Legacy – how to transition from director to member, how to transition to a new CEO, and how to ensure diversity in CEO succession plans

Program 2. Functional Succession Planning

This program delivers a first-class nominations and election process over a 3 to 6-month period. It is structured around increasing the pool of candidates who have a desire to join your board and improving membership engagement. Includes;

  1. Marketing and improving member engagement – public relations strategies, tactics to find interested people, and holding member events

  2. Governance evaluation – review such aspects as constitution, strategy, board minutes and papers, boardroom operations, committees, and policy

  3. Nomination and election management – e.g. information sessions, nomination information, director qualification standards, crafting candidate profiles, and mentoring new directors

  4. Culture of inquiry – how to foster debate, address uncomfortable issues, challenge norms, invigorate board oversight processes, and strategy development

Boards can choose to engage in the entire two programs, or single options. Integrated Governance offer a host of other services including Applied Director Training, DiSC Leadership modules, Returning Officer services, Strategic Planning, and Executive Recruitment.

Shayne Leslie | 0412 241 773 | shayne@integratedgovernance.com.au

#attractingboardmembers #board #boardskills #boardsuccession #facilitation #governance #governancetraining #mandatorydirectortraining #strategicplanning

Phone: 1300 76 22 38
ABN: 54114140251

Address: Head Office, Gosford, New South Wales, Australia

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