Diversity and Inclusion in the Boardroom
The twin concepts of diversity and inclusion were rising to overtake ‘culture’ as the leading ideals for organisations at the close of 2019. There is no doubt that they will take a back seat for a while as Australian companies respond to the challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic. We will be changing many of our traditional ways of doing things (culture) on the other side of this pandemic. Now is the time to embrace D & I, meet its cousin ‘belonging’ and see if we can launch into the post virus world fully engaged with our stakeholder communities.
Why Millennials Could Be the Missing Link in Your Boardroom
When it comes to non-executive board positions, Millennials (or Gen Y) are often snubbed in favour of more experienced directors, or overlooked entirely. However, they could be the key to creating the perfect balance in your boardroom. Of all publicly listed companies in Australia, about 2% of their directors are under the age of 45. The stats are better for the non-profit world but I’d wager that very few of these positions are filled by people under 30.
The Role of Newbies in the Boardroom
Not-for-profit organisations are increasingly looking for a younger presence in the boardroom for the digital skill sets and perspective they can bring to emerging areas of board oversight, including strategy, digital marketing and online fundraising. Changing a board’s demographics and traditions comes with risks as less experienced directors often require more training and resources early in their tenure to better understand and fill their roles. Often boards pair new members with experienced directors who serve as coaches during the transition.
Diversity in the Boardroom
In the boardroom, diversity can enhance decision-making and drive more wide-ranging and probing discussions. It can also help remove the blind spots that can keep important matters out of sight. “Research shows time and time again that diversity improves outcomes in a number of ways, including financial performance, the quality of decision making, reputation and the ability to innovate,” says Alicia Curtis, co-author of Difference Makers: A Leader’s Guide to Championing Diversity on Boards.
Why Am I on this Board? One Question, Three Ways
Asking Board members to answer one simple question in three slightly different ways can unearth the reasons they’ve lost their passion. Their answers can also provide vital clues about how to reignite the flame. You’re ploughing your way through another tedious non-profit board meeting and it hits you: What am I doing here? Why aren’t I spending my Saturday relaxing? Where’s my passion gone? Am I making a difference? Why am I so bored?
Director Selection: Finding the Right Fit
Getting the right people onto a board can be critical to a non-profit’s effectiveness. Yet while the recruitment of a new CEO typically follows a rigorous process, the appointment of a new director is frequently ad hoc, informal and heavily reliant on a closed network of acquaintances. As a result, many non-profit boards may be missing an opportunity to add value to their organisation. Boards are unique work groups. They meet infrequently and spend limited time together outside the boardroom.
Could You Do with a Lawyer on Your Board?
Statistics from America suggest two interesting things about board membership: A lawyer/director increases an organisation’s value by 9.5%; and The number of lawyer/directors in America has doubled in recent times But if you have a lawyer on your board, what’s your experience? The reality is that any good board member needs to perform to the five governance commandments: Be able to contribute to strategy See opportunities and threats Be willing to challenge management Make decisions, not just express views Be clear thinkers with good judgement Lawyers, or even accountants or retired politicians don’t have a mortgage on these qualities.
The Critical Dos and Don’ts of NFP Board Recruitment
We have all struggled with recruitment and we know that the smaller our organisation the greater our responsibility to get it right. We also know that many more people today are keen to find a board role so identifying the right candidate is even more challenging. In my experience there are a couple of overarching principles that guide the appointment of directors: First, candidate skills and experience must closely match the position requirements without compromise, as your board needs the best new director available.
Recruiting Board Members – Working with a Nominating Committee
For too long, not-for-profit boards have remained a coy social group, not always adding value to the strategic development and operations of the organisations on whose boards they sit – yet CEOs cannot get their strategies off the ground unless they have a capable board to endorse and support them. It’s all about cause and effect. The problem often results from the way in which directors were recruited in the first place.
Director Recruitment – The Habitat for Humanity Approach
No longer are board positions in not-for-profits simply given to a willing friend of the Board or CEO. Recruiting directors with the right values, skill, experience and commitment is one of the key responsibilities and most important undertakings of a board and is arguably even more important for not-for-profit (NFP) boards. Search and selection of directors with the right skills to contribute to the growth and development of Habitat for Humanity Australia (HFHA) is challenging as we operate in an increasingly complex environment with greater compliance burden and higher expectations of efficiency, accountability and transparency.