Read the latest research and published articles from Advanced boardroom Excellence or catch up on the latest Governance Watch.
It really is time our industry had a Code of Practice for Board Evaluations. Companies need guidance to get through these troubled times. So it was good news to read that the Business Secretary Greg Clark announced – as part of the insolvency safeguards – measures to develop a code of practice for external board evaluations. (see press release).
Boards are supposed to prevent anything that could cause harm to a company, but some still fail. Stephen Jones writing for Management Today paints a dark picture of our current state of British Boards. Leading industry experts (including Helen Pitcher OBE) offer explanations of what is causing Boards to fail and what can be done to rectify the problem.
To celebrate the 50th anniversary of women in the INSEAD MBA programme, INSEAD conducted a global survey of alumni and produced a report on its findings.
There is increasing pressure on boards’ to plan their own succession as well as oversee the executive pipeline, with a strong focus on diversity. This stems from the need to create sustainable businesses with a positive, transparent culture that can be ‘passed on’ through generations of CEO and board transitions, and societal pressure for greater diversity in boards and companies to mirror their customer base and the host society. While the notion of having a ‘social licence to operate’ is in its infancy in Europe, there is an increasing need for businesses to show they are good corporate citizens, with lobby groups focused on fair tax payment, customer and employee advocacy, custodianship of the environment, and positive social impact.
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.
Written by Team NEDonBoard
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.
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.
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.
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.
Published in Governance, November 2017 Issue 279
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 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.
Today, in a Special Edition on INSEAD Directors Forum newsletter, it was announced that from 1st September 2017, INSEAD Corporate Governance Initiative (ICGI) will take on a new identity as INSEAD Corporate Governance Centre (ICGC).
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.
The International Women's Forum UK recently announced Helen Pitcher OBE as the new President elect of the INSEAD Directors Network.
An article by Helen Pitcher OBE for the Company Secretary’s Review
Volume 41, Issue 1, June 2017
This article from Helen Pitcher OBE, Chairman of Advanced Boardroom Excellence looks at the role of the Chairman and the Company Secretary in the design of a Board information architecture and information management strategies.
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?
By Helen Pitcher for HR magazine
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.
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.
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.
An article from peoplemanagement.co.uk
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.
By Owen Bowcott for The Guardian, 11 Jan 2016
The number of women applying for Queen’s Counsel remains “stubbornly low”, the appointments panel has said, after promoting 25 female barristers and solicitor advocates among a total of 107.
by Sarah Downey for Legal Business, 11 Jan 2016
A trio of City heavyweights has been appointed among 107 new Queen's Counsel (QC) announced today (11 January), an increase on last year's round of 93.
Of the nine solicitor advocates who applied, there were three successful candidates, a drop on 2014/15 when five solicitor advocates were appointed. This year's appointments include Quinn Emanuel Urquhart & Sullivan arbitration head Stephen Jagusch (pictured), Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher international arbitration group co-chair Penny Madden, and Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer London arbitration head Nigel Rawding.
By Jenny Roper for HR Magazine
HR can contribute a lot more than people often realise. Here are the areas no business can afford not to excel in
"There has to be some important problem in the CEO’s bailiwick and the function has to be able to address it. Finance became important because investors became important and the CFOs became important because they had the tools and answers to the questions.” That’s Wharton professor Peter Cappelli’s view on what it takes for a function to rise to prominence.
After all, if a function is not delivering something critical why would it be there in the first place? Which is why the debate around whether the HR function is needed is so mystifying, and so tiring.
So here, once and for all, our experts spell out just some of those many vital value-adds that HR delivers – those areas in today’s operating conditions, that organisations would be lost without.
By Helen Pitcher for HR Magazine
The Harvard Business Review (HBR) articles raise some good analysis of HR – even if collected under an incendiary title
The first article recognises that the Europe/UK context is different to the US and is undergoing a ‘paradigm shift’ at board level, with the board taking greater governance responsibility for key areas of the HR agenda that goes beyond the usual “people are our most important asset” statement.
As the HBR articles suggest, recognising the fundamental business context of companies is important and provides the backdrop for analysing the potential role HR can play in an organisation at any point in time.
By Becky Frith for HR Magazine , 04 Sep 2015
More than three-quarters (76%) of HR professionals believe HR’s strategic input is poorly acknowledged, according to research from software provider Cascade HR.
The Cascade Client Survey 2015 found that 39% of HR professionals do not need to report an overview of their department, 42% are not expected to report on workforce diversity, and 48% are not required to report on salary information.
Published in Governance, August 2015 Issue 254
A new Report looks at the increasing demands and pressures on non-execs, considers whether too much is expected from them and looks at increasing problems recruiting non-execs into the financial services sector.
An article by Helen Pitcher OBE for the Company Secretary’s Review
Volume 39, Issue 8, August 2015
This article from Helen Pitcher OBE, Chairman of Advanced Boardroom Excellence looks at some of the influences driving the change in focus on Board behaviour, but more importantly asks if you are ready willing and able to adapt your behaviour to support the Chairman and the Board to deliver the future of Board effectiveness.