Proactive, high-performing governance professionals can bring two key benefits to organisations: 1) helping Boards to meet their objectives, and 2) making sure they don’t become tomorrow’s headline.
1. Helping Boards to meet their objectives
With the right soft skills, governance professionals can take some of the burden off the Chair and members of the Board – freeing them up to focus on driving the organisation forward.
They can do this by:
- nurturing relationships with stakeholders, including investors, non executive directors and colleagues
- making sure that the Board discuss the right topics at the right time, then make and act upon the right decisions – by supplying high-quality information, coaching executives on how to present, helping to manage Board dynamics, recording decisions and following up on actions
- helping review and refresh the composition of the board, induct new members and evaluate/develop current ones – all while taking into account the skills, competences and behavioural attributes the organisation needs
- establishing a sound governance culture and robust decision-making processes that will outlive the tenure of the current governance professional
- picking up the pieces when things go wrong.
2. Making sure organisations don’t become tomorrow’s headline
As organisations such as Volkswagen, Mid Staffordshire NHS Foundation Trust, FIFA and Sports Direct have discovered, the reputational and financial damage of a scandal can be huge. Regulators can be quick to respond with tightened controls around governance and compliance (think of the banking sector since 2008). And many organisations, particularly in the public sector, are already subject to scrutiny from bodies such as OFSTED and the Care Quality Commission.
A governance professional with the right skills can help your organisation to avoid being the next big scandal.
They can do this by:
- making sure the Board understands why governance matters, and how it can spell the difference between success or failure
- supporting the Board in setting the tone and culture of the organisation, then monitoring how well the relevant values and behaviours are embedded at all levels in the business – including the very top
- helping the Board to understand the risks their organisations face and to mitigate them proportionately
- having the guts to tell the Chair/Board things they might not want to hear, but that they should know – before it’s too late
- leading responses to reviews or consultations and helping to meet growing regulatory demands without strait-jacketing the organisation.
In my view, coaching is the most effective way of building soft skills so governance professionals can position themselves as oiling, rather than rusting, their organisation’s cogs.
If you’d like to know more about the business benefits of coaching, I’m happy to talk them through with you.
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