News & Events

Day two of the ICSA Annual Conference 2019.




Day two of the ICSA Annual Conference 2019.

Yesterday was a productive day of networking and meetings at our stand.

This afternoon Sharon Constançon will be participating in a session, “How to identify toxic behaviour in the boardroom”, exploring how antagonism, unproductivity and disengagement are some of the behaviours that can undermine even the most experienced and enthusiastic boards.

Don’t forget if you are attending, drop by our stand and say hello.

By |2019-08-01T12:31:36+01:00July 10th, 2019|News & Events|0 Comments

How does a chairman in conjunction with the company secretary assess who best to evaluate the Board?

How does a chairman in conjunction with the company secretary assess who best to evaluate the Board?

An option is via the procurement process rather than via the Chair or Company Secretary, usually by tender, where there is no contact and a rigid system/process which requires everyone to mould themselves into. This is usually geared towards low price being a key factor.

Another method requires a proposal to be submitted to the Company Secretary or the Chairman direct, they shortlist and hold meetings in person with about three candidates.

The third option falls in-between options one and two, where there is no face to face meeting and the decision is made from the submitted proposal, usually by a panel of people.

We question whether companies end up with the best result is they have not assessed the personality and technical match by having worked through the paper-only process?

The most beneficial option must be the second one described, where the Chairman has the opportunity to meet and ensure a match between the company and evaluator is assured. Both the Board and evaluator need to work together as a team to deliver optimal outcomes, which are then owned by the Board in order that improvements can be achieved.

By |2019-09-11T13:18:15+01:00June 12th, 2019|News & Events|0 Comments

Devonshire House Panel Debate – 25 June 2019 – Should NEDs stop things going wrong?

Should NEDs stop things going wrong?

This is the subject of the Devonshire House Panel Debate on Corporate Governance to be held on Tuesday 25 June 2019.

Sharon Constançon of Genius Boards will be chairing the debate, which is hosted by Pinsent Masons at their Earl Street offices.

We will be examining from an external perspective how Boards act and react to external impacts, internal surprises, difficult topics, people agendas – typically issues that the Board cannot influence occurring in the way they do. “We never saw that coming!”  – should never need to be said.

Do, please join us if you can for what we hope will be a robust and interactive debate.

By |2019-08-01T12:32:16+01:00June 1st, 2019|News & Events|0 Comments

Africa as a growth continent

Many international businesses are showing an interest in Africa, as a business opportunity to grow their markets, business and bottom line.

Coming off a low business maturity base Africa offers high risk but high returns.

Not always easy, not always win, but has a direct influence on the investee countries when it works well.

Although Chinese and Indian businesses have long recognised the opportunities present, the U.K. has been very late to the African party and only recently considering joint economic initiatives with countries that have the relationships but not the wisdom, experience, legal systems, transparency and ethics that the UK can offer and partner with risk appetite and funding.

How should UK businesses enter the various markets of Africa to protect their risks where feasible but be open to good business opportunities?

By |2019-09-11T13:19:15+01:00May 27th, 2019|News & Events|0 Comments

Brexit delays making money work

Many British organisations appear to be handcuffed by Brexit.

Many consultancy styled businesses are finding two things: – How to earn a fortune to tell a company there is still not clarity – but they have at least spent the money “preparing for Brexit”.

Many other firms are finding that companies are bringing such services in house, so they are seen to be very engaged and busy therefore protecting themselves from redundancy.

How can these two fears be addressed to prevent wasting money or death by inertia? The investment market indicates that many companies are holding big decisions until after Brexit even though Brexit has been “kicked down the street”.

The lack of making money work is costing the economy dearly and impacting currency volatility generally narrowing the range of currency movements, with a total apathy being prevalent.

Uncertainty can create the volatility seen in the past week as bad news around the Brexit next steps pervade. Avoiding trading or making decisions is often not good governance. Management needs to recognise that they are accountable for both decisions and non-decisions.

However, when the economy is reinvigorated, money is likely to be invested quickly, bringing with it a different set of challenges…

By |2019-08-01T12:32:52+01:00May 25th, 2019|News & Events|0 Comments

All trousers, no skirts?

The May edition (or it may be titled June) of the IRM magazine has an interesting article on women on Boards in the UK titled “All trousers, no skirts?”

The focus of the article is the risk Boards are taking by not heading the diversity storm.

You may question “risk” – this could be reputational risk, performance risk and board effectiveness risk.
This is not far fetched, particularly the reputational risk question. The media, investors and other interested bodies are focusing on this issue and are quick to name and shame Chairmen and companies not taking this seriously.Women do not want the quota system in general and do not wish to be seen as tokens, but wish to be appointed in their own right. This does require the nominations committees and headhunters to open the net wider than the very narrow focus currently being adopted.
Research indicates a correlation between reduced insolvency risk and women on Boards.

Quote by Genius Methods CEO in the article states ”Constancon says the connection makes sense. She adds “A more diverse Board is probably a Board of a better governed company where the Board brings value to the organisation””

By |2012-10-19T14:38:52+01:00June 1st, 2012|News & Events|0 Comments

Risk Management – A Board Responsibility

“The Board is responsible for determining the nature and extent of the significant risks it is willing to take in achieving its strategic objectives.”

UK Corporate Governance Code

Risk management – a motto:

The disruptive intelligence that pierces “perfect-place” arrogance

Richard Anderson – Chairman of the Institute of Risk Management


BP, Siemens, Microsoft, the Banks ……  they all manifested major, repeated and value destroying failures in governance, risk management and compliance…


You may well think that these incidents were not you, not your organisation, That it couldn’t happen to you  …..  that’s what they thought  ….  and repeatedly the risk failures re-occured.


At a presentation to Genius Methods guests, Richard Anderson covered the importance of Risk Management at Board level, including issues like risk capability, capacity and maturity, risk clockspeed, measurement and testing.

Genius Methods reviews risk management, strategic risk and risk challenge when performing Board Evaluations.   Typically we find that Boards understand operational risk, as described and addressed by management, what we often see lacking is the handling of strategic risk, reputational risk and the taking responsibility at board level for risk appetite.

Another question that needs to be addressed by Boards and that is the “home” of risk management.  Is this to be the Audit Committee or the Risk Committee.  Walker recommended that risk be addressed by its own committee and this is largely been followed by financial services organisations.  36% of the non-financial FTSE organisations have also gone down this path.

Our view is that audit is about confirming and evidencing facts of the past and risk is about imagining the unknown.  These views on business do not necessarily come encompassed in one person’s or committee’s ability.  There definitely needs to be an overlap between these committees to ensure that there is not the proverbial gap into which everything falls.

Genius Methods guests enjoyed a roundtable discussion and shared their ideas on various aspects of risk which we have summarised into a White Paper.  This covers their experiences and views on Board level risk management.

By |2012-11-01T22:07:40+01:00April 4th, 2012|News & Events|0 Comments
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