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Effective Corporate Governance By Mark Holton from Smithink on May 4, 2018

Effective Corporate Governance

Recently I attended a five-day Company Directors training course run by the Australian Institute of Company Directors. Each of the days covered a related topic such as strategy, risk, finance, governance and the like. The days were very well run with great interactive facilitation and practical case studies that related to both corporate, small business and not for profit boards.

The course provided practical, easy to understand training and development in the skills and knowledge necessary for Company Director competence including;

  • Understanding your duties and legal responsibilities as a Director
  • Improving your knowledge and understanding of financial statements
  • Learning how to identify and respond to conflicts of interest
  • Minimising your personal and organisational risks
  • Discussing Boardroom issues in confidence with your peers

Apart from the day being very beneficial it really made me think about my role as a board member let alone my corporate governance duties. The dialogue from fellow delegates was extremely constructive and I think we all walked away very aware and will form better well run Boards.

I must admit that all the way through the day I thought that this course would be ideal for accounting firms and business advisory clients who generally have become Company Directors out of need rather than desire. The key “take-aways” from the training in my view were as follows:

  • Do I truly understand my role, responsibilities and accountabilities?
  • Am I fully aware of the strategic needs of our organisation?
  • Do I fully understand the financial statements of our organisation so that I can make sound financial decisions?
  • Do I know if our organisation is legally solvent?
  • Do I adequately understand the law with respect to “conflict of interest?”
  • Am I fully aware of my ever-changing legal responsibilities and governance duties?
  • Do I have the necessary levels of skill, care and diligence to effectively perform my role?

If you could not confidently answer “Yes” to each of these questions…you may have identified important gaps in your competencies as a Director or Board Member and you should urgently consider filling these gaps with appropriate training and development.

Knowledge is power and for all Company Directors, this area is one that we need to develop.


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