Reflections from the Institute of Directors Leadership Conference 2024

The Grounded Governance team had the privilege of attending the Institute of Directors (IoD) Leadership Conference 2024, held on May 13-14.

The Leadership Conference was a brilliant opportunity for learning, connecting, and being inspired by thought leaders and peers in the governance field. Below are some of the highlights and insights from our time at the 2024 IoD Leadership Conference. 

Day 1: Kicking Off with Inspiration and Insight 

From the very beginning, the atmosphere was electric. The conference promised two full days of knowledge sharing and it did not disappoint. 

Opening Session with Dr. Rod Carr

Dr. Rod Carr set the tone with an invigorating session on climate-focused opportunities. He emphasised the urgent need for board members and organisations to make climate-conscious decisions. His insights pushed us to think critically about our sustainability efforts at Grounded Governance. The session was a powerful reminder of the significant role governance plays in addressing global challenges. 

Dr. Rod Carr talking at the Institute of Directors Leadership Conference
IoD Leadership Conference at TE PAE CONVENTION CENTRE
A Conversation on Chair-CEO Dynamics

One of the standout sessions was the conversation between Auckland Airport CEO, Carrie Hurihanganui, and Chair, Patrick Strange. Their discussion highlighted values we hold dear in our Chair Mentoring and Coaching programs: trust, respect, understanding of roles, and open communication. Patrick Strange’s emphasis on the importance of respecting each other’s roles and boundaries, while maintaining a friendly and enjoyable relationship, resonated deeply with us. We are excited to see Auckland Airport’s next Chair, Julia Hoare, continue this commitment to mutual respect and effective collaboration between the board and management. 


Day 2: Diving Deeper into Governance Dynamics 

The second day continued to build on the momentum with sessions that challenged and inspired us. 

Board Dynamics and Control

Jackie Lloyd’s session on board dynamics and whether boards are losing control was particularly impactful. She stressed the importance of regularly reviewing board structures and culture to ensure they are operating effectively and adding value. As developers of the Board HealthCheck evaluation, we couldn’t agree more with Jackie, Oliver Mander, and Rob Hamilton’s comments. Their insights reinforced the need for continuous improvement and vigilance in board operations. 

Engaging Governance Education

David Downs and Dr. Maryanne Garry brought a fresh and fun approach to governance education. Their session was a highlight, touching on themes such as over-confidence in board members, the power of concise storytelling, and the importance of creativity and humour in meetings. These elements are crucial for fostering engaging and productive board environments. 

Grounded Governance Team Members

A highlight of the event was the opportunity to come together after the conference to indulge in Christchurch culinary delights. 

In Picture: Gordon Shaw, Tracey Cross (Governance Experts), Giselle McLachlan (Governance Expert and Director) with Bex Turnball (Systems Lead) and Cassie Kennedy (Marketing and Projects Lead)

Gratitude and Looking Forward 

We extend our heartfelt thanks to the Institute of Directors for hosting such a remarkable event. All of the sessions were thought-provoking, more than the mention above, many of which aligned perfectly with Grounded Governance’s mission to make governance easy and enjoyable. We are grateful for the opportunity to learn from and connect with so many passionate professionals. 

The conference reinforced our commitment to supporting boards in navigating their unique challenges and enhancing their effectiveness. As we move forward, we are excited to apply the insights gained and continue our journey of making governance down-to-earth, engaging, and impactful. 

Nga mihi, The Grounded Governance Team