Introducing “Ask us anything”

We just kicked off a new project! We are giving people a safe space to ask governance questions.  

You know the ones. The questions that you might feel embarrassed about because you think, “maybe I should already know that?”. Or questions about how the board should be operating, that may be too sensitive to ask in front of board members. “Ask us Anything” is a chance to have those conversations. 

We want you to have the opportunity to access governance advice even if you don’t have the time
, or money for formal training.

This is how it works: you send in a question and we prepare an answer to share with the group. Of course, the added bonus it that this is a kōrero. Others can contribute their experiences and solutions and bring up things even we might not have thought about.

These sessions are targeted at people who know they need to spend more time working on their business rather than in it, but struggle to make a start, or face a specific stumbling block.

In our first session, we covered several issues that we wanted to highlight for you here (Just in case you missed the online event!)

Q: How do I make sure my board is focused on driving business success, not just process and compliance?

A: It can be really hard work to do this. But it can be done. It’s all about the planning. You have to plan to have effective, impactful and frankly engaging board meetings. We want a board and management team to finish a board meeting motivated, stimulated and a teeny bit proud of what they have accomplished in the meeting as well as what the team’s achieving.

Instead boards too often spend their time ticking all the boxes on compliance, management and finding holes in management’s work.

A practical hint to help keep them focused on driving business forward is to make a year-long plan and schedule 1/3 of their time for strategic topics. This is a time when a board can scan the horizon and ask questions such as. “What’s going on out there? What are directors seeing in other environments?” Give the board some work to do and spell out specific ways they can really help.

It can also be very effective to organise committees to spin out some of the box-ticking but critical work, e.g have an Audit and Risk committee look at the compliance side of things closely and report back to the board.

Give compliance some mana and prioritise time to discuss it, instead of leaving it until the end of the meeting. That’s often what happens, and it ends up being done badly.

Look at who’s on your board and what skill sets and perspectives they have. If you’ve filled your board with lawyers, for their expertise in law and compliance, guess what? That’s what you’re going to get! If you build a more diverse board, you’ll not only get one not just willing but wanting to talk about more than just the tick-box exercises.

We'll be sharing more questions and answers like these. Watch this space for those, and for the next “Ask Us Anything” Zoom session which is on 15 February at 1pm. 
You can register here: W'