If you were joining a dance group then you would want to know what kind of dance the group practices. If you were joining a football team then you would need to know the type of offence and defence the team uses. When you join a Board you need to understand its governance model. Boards have different ways of broadly looking at their role in their organization. There are many different models of Board governance and it is important to know which one your Board uses so that you can understand more clearly your role as a Director. Marion Thomson Howell, President of Shaugnessy Howell Inc., Executive-in-Residence at Capacity Canada, and Vice-Chair of the Board of St. Mary’s General Hospital in Kitchener, Ontario, sits down with us to review 4 general categories of Board governance models and what Board members need to know about the implications for each model.
So you’ve sorted out your organization’s purpose, mission, vision, and values. Then you wrote a magnificent strategic plan that clearly aligns these elements and considers the challenges of your external environment. Now what? Well now you get to track your progress – a step all too often missed for many organizations and Boards. Enter Valerie Sluth, CEO and founder of Praxis Consulting, Board member on multiple Boards, and management consultant extraordinaire. Val speaks with us about the balanced scorecard and how you can properly oversee and measure the progress you are making on your strategic plan and initiatives.
A key document for many Boards is the Strategic Plan for their organization. But what is strategy and how should the Board engage in setting strategy and overseeing its implementation? Merv Hillier is the founder of consulting firm Nuvision. He is an educator, CEO, and Board member and he sat down with us to talk strategy. If you are wondering how involved the Board should be in both the planning and execution stages of strategy then this is the episode for you!
Organizations use the term “values” in strategic plans, policies, annual reports, and any number of other places. But what is a “value” and how should values play a role in conversations and decision-making at the Board table? Dr. David Malloy, Principal of King’s University College, is a philosopher and an expert on values & leadership. He sat down with us to define the concept of a value and to offer some advice as to how values should be intentional, explicit, and put into action throughout the organization – starting with the Board.
We asked 5 governance experts what question every Board member should ask or be prepared to ask at a Board meeting. Check out what each expert had to offer:
Fred Galloway, President of F.J. Galloway & Associates;
Jim Brown, author of The Imperfect Board Member and Principal Consultant with Strive;
Gillian Kernaghan, CEO and President of St. Joseph’s Health Care London;
Cathy Brothers, CEO of Capacity Canada; and
Chris Makuch, Vice-President MaisonBrison.
During the podcast, we mentioned a helpful book that speaks to the power of great questions – A More Beautiful Question: The Power of Inquiry To Spark Breakthrough Ideas
This week we are joined by Chris Makuch, Vice-President of MaisonBrison, to talk about the importance of shareholder engagement and Boards under stressful situations. This was a great learning experience for us. Chris opened our eyes to the complex issues that arise for Boards related to this topic and it is a fascinating area to unpack. The questions we asked Chris included:
– What are proxy contests, why are they important, and why should Boards care?
– What should Boards be worried about when viewing activist investors? Do activist investors present opportunities for the Board? How can Boards stay informed about who owns the company?
– How do you recruit Board members in light of possible proxy battles? How do you make sure you have diversity of opinion around the Board table?
– How does the Board stay focused on key strategic and industry measures while there is added pressure from activist investors or powerful shareholders with different viewpoints?
– What are some common red flags you have seen around Board tables?
– How can Board members think like activist investors?
– How much of an impact might the proposed changes to form 13f make on Canadian corporations?
How does Cathy Brothers, CEO of Capacity Canada and “Governance Queen”, describe what makes Boards work well and what to avoid? Find out in this episode and listen as we glean some of her wisdom gained from decades of experience advising, supporting, and participating on Boards across the country.
Capacity Canada is also our resource of the week. Find more information about this great organization at www.capacitycanada.ca
Dr. Gillian Kernaghan is the President and CEO of St. Joseph’s Health Care London and she has been able to animate the mission of St. Joseph’s at every level of the organization. In addition to her role at St. Joseph’s, she is the Chair of the Catholic Hospital Association of Ontario. Listen in as she discusses the role that the Board plays in determining, protecting, and promoting mission as well as tips for making sure your organization remains focused on its purpose, its “why”.
More background on Dr. Kernaghan is available here: https://www.sjhc.london.on.ca/about-us/about-st-josephs-health-care-london/leadership-team
After reviewing listener feedback and questions, it is clear that a common concern is on the minds of lots of Board members right now. How involved should a Board be in their organization during the unpredictability of a global pandemic? Paul and Andrew invite back governance consultant Fred Galloway to answer a listener question and dive a little deeper into this important topic.
Listen on Apple Podcasts: https://podcasts.apple.com/ca/podcast/the-governance-guys/id1506642067
Listen on Spotify: https://open.spotify.com/show/7aDea06cFGCXdQTiONHaTM
Jim Brown, author of The Imperfect Board Member sits down with Paul and Andrew to discuss why he thinks Boards are important, what Board members can do to step up their game, and how seven disciplines can move us towards governance excellence.
Jim’s book is available on Amazon: https://www.amazon.ca/dp/B008N9J50G/ref=dp-kindle-redirect?_encoding=UTF8&btkr=1 , his podcast is called “OrgHealth” – https://www.orghealth.coach/podcast and you can check out his leadership and governance development company “Strive” by visiting: https://www.strive.com/