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How to chair a board

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David W Duffy

CEO - The Corporate Governance Institute
23rd of November 2022 at 13:00 (GMT)
Via Zoom

Key Takeaways

  • The role of the chair has expanded dramatically over the last 5-10 years.
  • This has been driven by new compliance regulations and expectations of society that businesses do more than make money.
  • As a chair, you need to build relationships, focus on what really matters, understand your business at every level, embrace diversity, be a good listener and make sure your board is up to date on cyber, ESG, digitalisation.
  • Before you become a chair, find out what the organisation is like and be realistic about what you can achieve over the next three years.
  • Find an experienced chair as a mentor who can help you.
  • As a chair, you need to know how to incorporate not only governance issues but also social and environmental issues.
  • Being a chair is a demanding role so you need to be prepared to take it on.
  • The primary role of the chair is to help cultivate the culture and set the organisation’s future direction.
  • The leadership qualities of a good chair include being consistent, creating positive energy, coaching junior board members, understanding the talent in the boardroom, facilitating conversations and decision-making, and having good communication skills.
  • A critical task for any chair is to make sure the board is evaluated regularly.
  • The relationship between the chair and the CEO is one of the most important roles in an organisation.
  • As a chair, it’s essential that you know how to plan beyond any current crisis.
  • A real skill of the chair is to know what’s going on in the business without getting involved in the day-to-day running of the executive.
  • It’s essential to know your board, their skills, experiences, biases and the terms of office of those who are new or about to leave.
  • Your role as a chair is to set the environment of the boardroom such as ground rules, the values and culture, and to seek solutions not problems.
  • Make sure as a chair that you give and get anonymous feedback.
  • Set a code of conduct for dealing with inappropriate behaviour.
  • Every board deals with conflict and as a chair you need the skills to identify what the conflict is about and deal with it using the correct policy and processes.
  • When you’re bringing about change in the boardroom, you’ll need to bring decisive leadership where change is seen as a positive.


This Webinar

Did you know that the number one reason chairs fail is they haven’t mastered the ART of being a Chair?

The main reasons chairs struggle and fail is because they:

  • Have no training: They assume the transition from NED to being a Chair is an easy transition.
  • Are uncomfortable with dissent and difficult conversations: They don’t know how to facilitate dialogue, build consensus, and reframe complex discussions.
  • Don’t know how to relate and work with different personality types.
  • Don’t know the best techniques to accelerate change.
  • Don’t know how to use the science of chairing in an artful way.

The good news is these skills can be learned. Join David W Duffy, CEO of Corporate Governance Institute, for this free webinar and get the essential insights you need to know how to start mastering the art of being a good chair. We’re looking forward to seeing you there.

This Speaker

David W Duffy is the founder and CEO of the Corporate Governance Institute, an experienced board member, governance consultant and a leading author on corporate governance. David is considered an innovator in governance research and engagement and is an authority on global, board-related matters.

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