2020                                                                                                             Issue 21


BoardWorks International

Welcome to Issue 21 of Board Works
Welcome to this issue of Board Works. I bring news of An Ending and an exciting Re-Start!.
This is the final issue in this occasional series that we've been publishing now since February 2010. In 2021 we are bringing back our original subscription periodical Good Governance (or 'GG' as it was affectionately referred to in-house).
In its original mailed-out, paper-based form, Terry Kilmister and I published 72 issues of Good Governance every two months over a period of 12 years. It produced a wealth of commentary and ideas as some current Board Works subscribers may recall.
We will start in early 2021 with Issue 73 of Good Governance. Since GG was last published in 2009 much has changed. For a start, for those of us who are active in boardrooms and committed to continuing professional development (CPD), much of what is potentially valuable to us is now online. But there is so much of it and who has time to find and wade through even a small amount of what might be of value?
Which is where Good Governance Mk II comes in. Our aim is to deliver you something online on a monthly cycle that will be your most valuable CPD resource. It will contain:
  • Topical original material created by our BoardWorks team, based on the challenges boards and directors are currently facing
  • Links to the best thinking we can find anywhere in the world about effective board-level leadership and boardroom practice. BUT not just the links - also a sufficient review of content that you won't need to go to the original sources if you don't have the time.
  • A reprise of the best of what we have published in the past - revised and updated as needed.
It is our intention after a brief trial period to return to a paid subscription model like the original GG. Because this kind of service is what I have been looking for myself, I am confident this will be an investment for subscribers that will be amply repaid. This change and indeed the considerable increase in our publication output is possible because we are opening a new chapter in the BoardWorks story. Terry who co-founded BoardWorks with me in 1997 has now retired from active involvement and I am shifting out of full-time consulting. My new role in the business is (for want of a title!) tentatively described as 'Practice Leader'.
I will still take on occasional consulting assignments, but will be mainly focusing on research, reflection and writing on best practice governance, and on communicating the results of that to my colleagues, our clients and to the wider community of governance practitioners. The direction and growth of our consulting business is now in the hands of John Page and a new team of associates he has brought together.
We will have more news on this soon. In the meantime, let me tell you about the content of this issue.
It will be no surprise that the first piece is COVID-related. The pandemic has had severe consequences for many people but hopefully you and your family and friends are managing OK. Management of the crisis has shown us that in the boardroom we can do some things better than we thought. I offer some ideas on what those are in What COVID-19 Has Taught Us About Setting Up Board Meetings ThatDo the Business.
It drives me nuts when I hear people say 'we are just volunteers', a phrase usually offered as an excuse when some governance shortcoming is exposed. Accepting any board role is to take on a significant set of responsibilities whether it is a paid or unpaid role. A news item from last summer prompted me to ask the question: Do You and Your Fellow Board Members Hold Yourselves Accountable or Are You 'Just Volunteers'?
Finally, another piece that also has a link to the pandemic. The pressure organisations have been under means many boards now have a better idea of the executive talent they can call on. Some are asking themselves hard questions about whether they have the chief executive they need. For that reason, I have asked Is It Time to Intervene -Has Your Pitcher Been in The Game Too Long?

Good reading, and best wishes

Graeme Nahkies


In This Issue
What Covid-19 Has Taught Us About Setting Up Board Meetings That Do the Business
Do You and Your Fellow Board Members Hold Yourselves Accountable or Are You 'Just Volunteers'?
Is It Time to Intervene - Has Your 'Pitcher Been in The Game Too Long'?
Have your Say
Article3Number18What COVID-19 Has Taught Us About Setting Up Board Meetings That Do the Business

In spite of its terrible consequences the pandemic has taught us some valuable lessons about preparation for productive and worthwhile board meetings.


Read and Print the full Article

 Article3Number18Do You and Your Fellow Board Members Hold Yourselves Accountable or Are You 'Just Volunteers'?

There are few areas of governance where boards of volunteer directors can find themselves so far out of their depth as in managing their relationship with their chief executive.


 Article3Number18Is It Time to Intervene - Has Your 'Pitcher Been in The Game Too Long'?

I was reminded recently of a board of a very successful organisation, one of the largest in its sector that was under attack from several of its most influential stakeholders.

14 Art 3   
'If you look for truth, you may find comfort in the end; if you look for comfort you will not get either comfort or truth - only soft soap and wishful thinking to begin, and in the end, despair.' 

(C.S.Lewis, 1898 - 1963)