The Women’s Business Council and the Men as Change Agents (MACA) working group launched their MACA toolkit on April 9th from Number 10 Downing Street. The MACA toolkit provides ideas for business leaders to drive towards gender balance in their teams and close the gender pay gap and foster equality in the workplace.
On Jan 30th, NEDonBoard held its best practice evening on succession planning. Following an initiative by NEDonBoard, the professional body for non-executive directors and board members in the UK, chaired by Helen Pitcher OBE, we host a panel evening to present this new guide. NEDonBoard raises governance standards on boards across the UK by providing board best practice guidance on succession planning.
By Stanislav Shekshnia for Harvard Business Review
INSEAD’s Corporate Governance Centre have launched a research project asking the questions: What are good practices for the Board chair’s role, and how do they differ from the traditional practices of CEOs and top executives?
The research included a survey of 200 board chairs from 31 countries, 80 interviews with chairs, and 60 interviews with board members, shareholders, and CEOs.
The INSEAD IDP Network Committee today announced that Helen Pitcher, OBE, was elected as new Chair and President of the INSEAD International Directors Network committee, following the annual AGM held on October 14, 2017. Helen takes over from previous chair Christoper de Mattos.
Are you thinking about what it would be like to be a non-executive director on a UK plc board? Helen Pitcher, Chair of Advanced Boardroom Excellence, went to talk to a room full of women thinking just that - at The Pipeline in London last week. Judging by some of the questions, some of them are in for multiple shocks even if they are successful at moving along through a search process. We share some of the advice Helen had to offer...
When most people think about effective leadership of an organisation, the first thing that usually comes to mind is the executive team comprising of the C-Suite of roles along with any business critical functions and key directors holding those roles. But in the context of good governance, effective leadership depends on a well-tuned board; a critical success factor to achieve this is healthy board dynamics
London’s leading business club, lounge and meeting space The Clubhouse, turns the tables and puts the focus on all the exciting things their fantastic members are achieving in their 'Member In the Spotlight' feature.
In their August ‘Member in the Spotlight’ feature they speak to member Helen Pitcher OBE, Chairman of Advanced Boardroom Excellence.
The CIPD’s board of trustees has two new members, who were formally elected at a council meeting on 21 April. They are Shakil Butt, HR and OD director at charity Islamic Relief Worldwide, and Helen Pitcher OBE, chair of board effectiveness consultancy Advanced Board Excellence. Both are chartered fellows of the institute.
The knowledge emerging from the Carillion Inquiry and other reports on the lack of traction from NEDs, casts a dark pallor over the cause of active governance by NED’s.
The oversight load and expectations on independent minded NED’s is rising daily. While we are rightly positioning our NEDs to get greater traction and insight into the culture and sustainability of their companies, we are relying heavily on an ‘old’ technology to support that insight.
Helen Pitcher OBE, Chairman of Advanced Boardroom Excellence, was recently elected President of the Board of the INSEAD Directors Network and gave a series interviews sharing her background and thoughts for the network.
In the business world, the legacy of inadequate succession planning can include both a strategic mess and a large bill of financial expenses. Despite this, sadly there is no shortage of examples in the media headlines of the occasions when it happens, even with the best will in the world for exemplary corporate governance in our publicly listed boardrooms.
Arriving at the Charity Gala Preview of this year’s Chelsea Flower Show in time to greet guests, the phrase ‘let a thousand flowers bloom’ came to mind. But of course, it is a misquotation, like many sound bites today. What Chairman Mao said in a speech in Peking in February 1957, was: "Letting a hundred flowers blossom and a hundred schools of thought contend is the policy for promoting progress in the arts and the sciences and a flourishing socialist culture in our land."
Anniversaries are useful markers, and even the happiest ones offer potential for both celebration and review. The wisdom of Sir Adrian Cadbury, who provided the basis for the UK’s Corporate Governance Code, has served us exceedingly well. The Code has been six times reviewed and updated since 1992. But 25 years is a long time in a fast-changing world, and as the United Kingdom takes its first steps to leave the European Union, it is clear that businesses have a plethora of concerns. For both commercial success and best corporate governance, they are going to need diverse and professional boardrooms.
When most people think about effective leadership of an organisation, the first thing that usually comes to mind is the executive team comprising of the C-Suite of roles along with any business critical functions and key directors holding those roles. But in the context of good governance, effective leadership depends on a well-tuned Board; a critical success factor to achieve this is healthy board dynamics.
Board mergers, usually come as a ‘package’, based on the joining of two, or occasionally more organisations. In working with client Boards who recognise the challenges this creates, we have been able to support the merged Board to rise above this potential legal quagmire, and to focus on behavioural goals of board effectiveness, to provide leadership and ‘signal’ to the organisation an integrated future. This is particularly true where there is a previous experience of different governance jurisdictions and guidelines, for example the distinctions between the role of the Chairman and CEO.
A recent research paper by MWM called Taming Narcissus provides boards with essential advice on how to spot narcissism and suggests ways to nip it in the bud or 'tame' it.
The report points out that narcissism is the flip side of many of the key strengths such as drive, determination and ambition that propel individuals to the very top. Sigmund Freud recognised that everyone is somewhat narcissistic. He tells us that this psychological type is especially suited “to take on the role of leaders” and recognised the dark side of this tendency.
What do Maslow and high performing boards have in common? A recent McKinsey insight report highlights that higher and lower impact board’s depend upon the breadth of issues that directors focus on and tackle.
Written by Helen Pitcher OBE, for INSEAD Knowledge Career Blog
Changing careers at mid-life is an option for more and more executives. Some choose early retirement, others are nudged towards the door, and others decide that doing something that they love is more meaningful and they can afford to get off the corporate track.
Becoming a NED is often considered the next logical professional step after an executive role. NEDs gain new skills, enlarge their networks and better understand other industries. But the competition is tough and it can be difficult to land that first NED position.
Changing Times. Helen Pitcher OBE writes about the proposed new UK governance code and its impact. The report is under consultation with a target of having the finalised version available in summer 2018, for implementation in January 2019.
Helen Pitcher argues that boards need to be opened up to wider thinking, diverse viewpoints, multifaceted experience and real-world engagement to make them increasingly relevant in a modern, dynamic business environment
In the 25 years since the Cadbury Report on corporate governance, how have boards been doing? Are boards able to understand and analyse what makes them effective and successful? Can they articulate and illuminate the characteristics of an effective board?
January is as good a time as any to reassess life and career goals. However, as with nearly all New Year ‘resolutions,’ it is important to ensure it is not a seasonal ‘flash in the pan’.
What is more conducive to effective career planning is a six month rolling review of whether you are achieving your stated goals. This however implies that you have taken time, soundings and articulated your stated goals in the first place! And that you do not review your goals achievement in isolation, but use a trusted mentor, coach or experienced friend to walk through progress and obstacles.