While comparing ineffective boards with those battling to make lifestyle changes might seem like a strange concept, hear me out.
Achieving success requires that both go through the same realisations, battle similar anxieties head-on, and face their challenges with the same tenacity to succeed.
Let’s consider this based on five crucial steps.
Recognise the Problem
You find yourself lashing out at a fellow director who has arrived at a board meeting unprepared. This person is reduced to tears and after the meeting you are called aside by the chairman who tells you that need to check your anger levels, as this is unacceptable behaviour. Some of your colleagues have also mentioned that your anger is getting in the way of doing things well over the past few months.
Many boards think that they are doing well, but that is a relative concept. Towing the line is seldom – if ever – good enough in the eyes of shareholders. They want their expectations exceeded. If you are getting the third annual board evaluation (if you even do them annually as is good practice) with the same required actions being highlighted, or with worse findings each year, the shareholders are going to raise their eyebrows and ask serious questions about your ability.
You realise that you have a problem.
Admit the Problem
Just as smokers cannot make progress with overcoming their nicotine addiction without admitting that they are reliant on it, ineffective boards need to admit that they have an issue and that action is required to turn things around.
Be Willing to Act
Are you in love with the idea of reaching your goal, but not with what it takes to get there? The “Be Willing to Act” step might be one of the most difficult ones to take.
It’s simple isn’t it – just stop eating so much and you will lose the weight that you just can’t shake. It’s not that easy if you are the one who needs to stop though. It takes a commitment to eating differently – and potentially exercising – to make a real difference.
In the boardroom space, all board members need to commit to empowering themselves to contribute meaningfully so that the business and all stakeholders can benefit. Remember that successful business impacts communities positively which ultimately makes the world a better place.
Follow a Robust Methodology
Partnering with an experienced objective third party who holds you accountable, supports success.
Getting a personal trainer who customises a routine based on your ideal weight and body goals, and sticking to it with his or her help and motivation, is going to prove more successful than walking around the block a few times per week (as long as it does not rain!) on your own.
A robust boardroom methodology assists boards to ensure that they are working effectively, while complying with legislation and achieving the goals that they set for the company. The Sirdar Governance Compass highlights eight areas that boards need to take into consideration – and which need to form part of their meeting agendas – to ensure compliance and impactful results. Furthermore, with our independent directors supporting you in the boardroom, you are assured of this practice being top of mind.
Reaching your lifestyle goals deserves celebration. If you’ve lost weight, go buy that outfit that you’ve had your eye on. If you’ve just reached your goal of doing your tenth park run, get a new pair of shoes. Your healthier lifestyle will also impact those around you positively which is a success in itself.
One particular Sirdar client that sticks to our methodology and uses the governance compass and associated language in discussions within and outside of the boardroom, has achieved massive success. By removing themselves from focusing on operations and spending time focusing on the bigger strategic picture, they are making more astute decisions that are literally paying dividends. In fact, they had a dividend pay-out increase from R600k to R12m in the past financial year alone.
Imagine what you and your board could achieve! Take the first step now!