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02 March 2017

How can the boards of today meet the needs of tomorrow?

Picture of Albert Einstein

The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results, according to Albert Einstein!

Whilst the operating environment in which we work is in a state of constant flux, our businesses, the services we deliver and how we deliver them are also changing. As businesses with a deep-rooted social purpose, we have a responsibility to deliver and a responsibility to act, not just for society today but for tomorrow and future generations. Our boards are the social conscience and decision makers of our businesses who ultimately have a duty to ensure that our responsibilities are met by holding us accountable for our business decisions and actions.

So, back to Einstein and his definition of insanity - my point is, we can’t expect to keep doing what we’ve always done and expect to achieve things we’ve never achieved before. Whilst our businesses are changing, we need to make sure we bring our boards with us! We need to act today to future-proof our boards, to ensure that the right people are around the table to drive the business forward, and to deliver services which are fit for the future.

Whilst ‘governance’ was once defined as the systems and processes in place to keep the business under prudent control, we all know that good governance is about more than a tick box approach - after all, conformance does not equate to performance. Don’t get me wrong, whilst systems and processes are surely the foundation to achieving good governance, the quality of governance itself is determined by the people around the table, the relationships between them and the culture within the boardroom. Ultimately, good governance is about responsible leadership which is characterised by the ethical values of responsibility, accountability, fairness and transparency.

This week’s Governance Conference will be an exciting opportunity for us to take stock, to learn about the latest thinking in terms of governance best practice, to inspire us to think differently and to set us on our way to explore how we can begin to ensure that our boards of today meet the needs of the world tomorrow! I look forward to seeing you all at the event.
Claire McDougall
- Executive Officer, CHC