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Exercising better independent judgement

Watch webinar

Bob Semple

Governance Advisory Council Member - The Corporate Governance Institute
16th of March 2022 at 13:00 (GMT)
Via Zoom

Key Takeaways

  • Your mindset, be it fixed or growth, will lead to different outcomes on decision making.
  • Sir Andre Likierman, London School of Business, has developed six factors of better decision-making that will help you identify whether you have a clear decision making process: what I take in; who and what I trust; what I know; what I feel and believe; how I make the choice; how I act on the decision.
  • The board agenda should always have items marked ‘For decision’ and figure out a good process for making decisions.
  • There are five different types of decisions. The first is straightforward and is easily solved. The fifth is an undetermined problem that you will need to seek clarity on. The middle three are less clear and involve: a complicated problem that needs to be managed, a critical problem that requires decisive action and, lastly, a ‘wicked’ problem that requires asking many people, many questions to come to a solution.
  • There are three aspects of better decision making: facts, opinions and decision.
    • Facts: Can I easily understand the information presented to me? Does it include the important information? What is the motivation?
    • Opinion: Is there a gap in understanding? Is there a conflict of interest? Could there be personal bias invovled?
    • Decision: How do I promote a safe way to ask questions that I fear may seem less worthy? Lead with ‘this might sounds stupid, but…’ or ‘I don’t know the answer to this, but…’. Can I favour the solution that goes from A to B most effectively?
  • Humility is the secret ingredient of good decision making.


This Webinar

Boards should expect their fair share of tough decisions but can boards improve the quality of their decision making? Bob Semple, a faculty member with the Corporate Governance Institute and member of the Governance Advisory Council, believes that yes, through the ability to ask great questions, they can.  Drawing on both his experience as a chair/director and on recent research, Bob will provide guidance on how boards can exercise better judgement to make smarter decisions.

Good questions, put forward at board meetings, will lead to better decisions. Can you learn how to ask better questions that will lead to better outcomes? “In conducting reviews of board effectiveness, I often find that boards can improve the quality of their questions and their decisions,” says Bob Semple. It is important for boards and directors to exercise independent judgment in a structured manner. Professor Andrew Likierman, the Professor of Management at London Business School, identified six key elements that board members, as directors, should take into account when exercising independent judgment.

  1. What I take in
  2. Who and what I trust
  3. What I know
  4. What I feel and believe
  5. How I make the choice
  6. How I act on the decision
This Speaker

Bob Semple has more than 40 years’ business experience working as an accountant, auditor and management consultant.

For 36 years, he worked in PricewaterhouseCoopers where, most recently, he was partner responsible for governance and risk management services.  He now works as a director and as an independent consultant – specialising in governance, risk management and board effectiveness reviews. Bob is a science graduate, a Chartered Accountant, a Chartered Director and a Certified Psychometric Evaluator.

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