Welcome to The Savvy Director™ blog, a place to engage on board governance topics as you travel the path to being a savvy director.
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Directors - both new and experienced – often struggle with differentiating their role from that of management. As a board member – whatever the nature of the organization you serve – you want to get a handle on your governance role.
“I would like to find out more about / receive a refresher on the division of governance and operations – what falls under governance, operations, or possibly joint responsibility.” – A Savvy Director reader
“I found it hard not to dabble in operations - I know I tended to ‘takeover.’ That's a skill challenge worthy of sharpening up on, in my humble opinion.” – A Savvy Director reader
The traditional advice is that there’s a bright line between the role of the board and that of management. It’s an attractive idea, but the reality is not that simple.
There’s always a line down the center of the road, marking distinct lanes that keep...
“Sharpen the Saw means preserving and enhancing the greatest asset you have – you.” – Stephen R. Covey
It’s been 30 years since Dr. Stephen R. Covey published his bestselling book The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People, but it’s still going strong. And one of the most enduring of Dr. Covey’s seven habits is to ‘Sharpen the Saw.’ It’s about taking the time for self-renewal - constantly improving to become our best selves.
For the Savvy Director, that means investing the time and energy to keep up-to-date on trends in board governance, and to stay connected to how the field is evolving to remain relevant in our rapidly changing world.
On that note, have you noticed that, as the year draws to a close, newspapers, magazines, and television have a habit of sharing their lists of 'Best Of … ' or 'Favorites' or 'Top' choices for books, movies, toys, gadgets … or whatever it is they are focused on?
This year at...
“This is a place for us to engage on topics that can help us on our respective journeys toward becoming savvy board directors – directors who are always prepared for our board meetings, ready to collaborate, contribute and influence decisions.“This won’t be a blog for everybody. But it will be a place for directors interested in upping their game at the board table, no matter the size of the board or the type of organization.”
Recently we re-published an earlier blog post, “What do I need to know about risk?” and shared The Savvy Director Guide to Risk with our subscribers as well as our network on LinkedIn.
Of course, there’s no way that a single blog post can cover the full breadth of a complex topic like risk. After all, there are entire books and courses of study devoted to the subject. Comments from some of our Savvy Director readers gave us great ideas for a follow-up blog on the topic.
Many thanks to those who shared their thoughts about additional concepts that Savvy Director readers could benefit from.
Grant Griffiths, board advisor, commented,
“One thing I would add is culture, it is so important when it comes to the management and oversight of risk. Without a risk aware culture - driven from the board who set the tone - achieving effective management and oversight of risk becomes complicated and has less chance of succeeding.”
If your board is now contemplating the transition from virtual meetings back to in-person ones, you may once again be confronted with the dreaded decision, “Where should I sit?”
Okay, I get that this is not the most urgent and compelling matter in front of a board director, but it may actually cause you a small amount of anxiety when you're confronted with all those empty chairs. I know that, personally, I've been grateful for tent cards in such a situation.
Is there a right place and a wrong place to sit?
Well, as it turns out, this topic is the subject of scientific research! Who knew?
I found out everything I need to know about this topic from a website called Science of People. The information presented in this blog is drawn from an article entitled How to Pick the Right Seat in a Meeting EVERY Time by Vanessa Van Edwards.
It seems that where you sit in a meeting greatly affects people’s perceptions of you, your feelings toward...
“Governance stories in the news tend to focus on conflict, crisis, and failure – shedding light on goings-on and machinations that were not meant to be in the public eye. However disturbing, these stories make fascinating case studies.” – The Savvy Director, ‘Governance in the News’