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

“Asleep at The Wheel? What is the role of a NED regarding board effectiveness”

Sharon Constançon will be speaking at the CISI Corporate Finance Forum on 24 April.

“Asleep at The Wheel? What is the role of a NED regarding board effectiveness” will look at case studies where board effectiveness has been beneficial to a business, but also where the opposite has been the case as well as considering other areas relating to board effectiveness that NEDs need to consider.

By |2019-08-01T12:41:39+01:00April 15th, 2019|Uncategorized|Comments Off on “Asleep at The Wheel? What is the role of a NED regarding board effectiveness”

Bullying in the Board Room; an Emotional Tsunami

bully-free-zoneMinorities suffer the impact whilst the solutions to exit the patronising epidemic is everyone’s responsibility
By Karen Bertoli

Subtle and blatant bullying is not the most “feel good” topic to analyse in an already tumultuous global business environment. However, there is no skirting the issue (no pun intended); and bullying in the Board Room is infectious often creating its own version of Chinese whispers with subtle connotations and falsities undermining relationships, communication and Board effectiveness..

Let’s first define common bullying behaviours

Interrupting, ignoring, speaking above others, forming silos, patronising responses, not taking a challenge seriously, not listening nor taking advice, assuming an incorrect level of knowledge, undermining competencies, gender, age or ethnicity ability framing (asking the female director to make the tea or take the minutes) … and so I could continue. Consciously or sub consciously, thereby neglecting the duty of governance as a Director responsible to shareholders and stakeholders.

The common or blatant bully has aggressive, blocking, imposing or negative body mannerisms, bad or loud language, excessive technical word usage, pigeon holes individuals and treats others as inferior.

The more dangerous, subtle and, often invisible to others, a style of bullying includes primarily patronising engagement, pigeon holing, framing and other engagement faux pas listed above.

It is important to understand who is the target of bullying

Women and “other minorities” which here may be defined as not the majority in the group of the Board based on gender, ethnicity, religion, age, location, school, education, competencies, professional training, experiences, direct subject knowledge, EQ or IQ focus and role titles …. and so I could continue!!

Bullying is not limited to recipients being women, often any minority group which includes minorities for example that have different skills sets and experience. I have witnessed a vast variety of bullying behaviour including man on man, to the extreme of a CEO bullying a Chairman, GFD bullying a CEO and a Chairman bullying a SID, just to identify a few.

There is no doubt that humans by nature generally gravitate towards those who are similar as it’s the most comfortable. We must remember that the purpose of a Board is to offer independent guidance and governance to a Chief Executive and management.

In contrast, best practice, because of corporate experiences, evidences that a diversity of perspective, challenge and input provides for a more robust conversation, which will lead to the right decisions.

Neutralisation of ancient mindsets

Communication, listening and being made aware of such behaviour patterns is crucial. It is not easy to see this fully without an external evaluator explaining how the interplays are impacting the Board’s effectiveness. Good governance is a powerful support as is process and structure; these are leading guides to help prevent and address bullying in the Boardroom.

It is also the responsibility of the bullied to work out, in that environment, how to address the issue for the greater improvement in the Board’s effectiveness. This is not a single conversation, this is a time and people game that requires good communication, trust, applied EQ (social awareness), persistence and third party help internally, and for full benefit, external input, handled appropriately.

If business and Boards do not address these ineffective contributors, the subtle (most often) and less subtle bullying behaviours will continue to challenge minorities and Board effectiveness. Governance, leadership, structure and culture will support discussions existing in the right forum, minuted, actions defined and accountabilities set.

Time to change?

With the rise in understanding the value of diversities and given we operate in a more open worldwide community, bullies in the Boardroom should find themselves losing steam as Board effectiveness is a genuine focus.

Chairmen, you can often be unwitting culprits, but it is your call to lead on “we embrace diversity and we have a safe culture for all to contribute”. This tone from the top will underpin an effective Board.

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By |2017-11-20T12:34:47+01:00November 20th, 2017|Uncategorized|Comments Off on Bullying in the Board Room; an Emotional Tsunami
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