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The Savvy Director Blog

Welcome to The Savvy Director™ blog, a place to engage on board governance topics as you travel the path to being a savvy director. 

If you're interested in upping your game at the board table, no matter the size of your board or the type of organization you serve, subscribe below to receive a weekly link right in your email inbox.

AI in the Boardroom

prepare for meetings Mar 05, 2023

Image - AI bot at the boardroom table - generated by Shutterstock

Today’s post is by David Jaworski, Principal Product Manager for Microsoft Teams and co-founder of DirectorPrep. Dave serves on the board of INEO Solutions (TSXV: INEO) as well as non-profit boards. He previously served on the Advisory Board of Payworks and the public board of PNI Digital Media which was acquired by Staples. [email protected] LinkedIn: https://linkedin.com/in/DaveJaworski

Thanks to ChatGPT for also...

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How Do We Make Money?

prepare for meetings Jul 17, 2022
 

You may find the term “business model” thrown around in the boardroom.

In this Savvy Director article, we’ll explore what it means, how it differs from strategy, and what the board’s role is, and what directors need to know to fulfill their role with respect to the organization’s business model.

And if the board you serve is in the non-profit sector, not to worry. There’s plenty here for you as well.

 

What is a business model?

The term business...

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Navigating Our VUCA World

prepare for meetings Apr 03, 2022
This article is the second of two dealing with our VUCA world and how the board of directors can help their organizations to navigate its challenges. Click here for our first article - Living in a VUCA World.
 
Like it or not, we find ourselves living in a VUCA world - one characterized by volatility, uncertainty, complexity, and ambiguity. Our environment is changing rapidly and in unexpected ways. It can be hard to discern the best path forward in the face of this shifting...
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Living in a VUCA World

prepare for meetings Mar 27, 2022
This article is the first of two dealing with our VUCA world and how the board of directors can help their organizations to navigate its challenges. Part 2, Navigating our VUCA World, was published on April 3rd. Click here for Part 2.
 
As a board director, are you finding that your organization is operating in an environment that has changed radically – and keeps changing at an accelerating pace? 
 
If so, you’re not alone. You're facing a VUCA world....
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Ever-Changing Tech

prepare for meetings Mar 20, 2022
Would you agree that staying on top of technology developments shouldn’t be left to the one tech-fluent director on your board?
 
Just as it’s no longer acceptable to defer all the responsibility for understanding the financial statements to the accountant on the board, I feel that keeping up with the techies has to become a shared responsibility for all board directors.
 
It’s pretty clear to me that all directors need to have their heads in the tech game –...
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Elevating the Boardroom Discussion

prepare for meetings Feb 27, 2022

We often hear from readers looking for ways to elevate their boardroom discussions to a more strategic level. That makes sense. Strategic discussions are more interesting, forward thinking, and robust than those that drill down into the minutiae of operations.

When the agenda and reading material don’t reflect the organization’s high level strategy - instead being filled with pages of execution detail and ‘busy work’ metrics - is it any wonder directors slow the...

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Risk Governance Revisited

prepare for meetings Nov 21, 2021

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.

...

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Getting a Handle on Inflation Risk

prepare for meetings Nov 07, 2021
I’m willing to bet that the majority of Savvy Director readers are not economists or financial experts. And neither am I.
 
But a recent comment from DirectorPrep co-founder Dave Jaworski – following one of his board meetings – got us thinking about what the board needs to know about inflation, and what kind of questions might a director want to ask.
 
So, this week’s blog post will delve into how savvy board directors are thinking about inflation. But...
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Keeping the train on track

prepare for meetings Sep 04, 2021

Someone on LinkedIn said, “Good governance is like keeping the train on track.” I like that analogy as it runs parallel to the description of the CEO who ‘keeps the trains running on time.’

You need both good direction and good execution.

You also need the third phase of the board’s work – monitoring progress.

It may have been John and Miriam Carver who described the work of the board as:

  1. Setting direction,
  2. Delegating authority, and
  3. Monitoring progress.
  4. ...
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"What do I need to know about risk?"

prepare for meetings Aug 22, 2021

How should a board of directors be spending its time and energy? When I serve on boards, I make sure there is plenty of room on our agendas to regularly spend time on four key topics: finance, people, strategy, and risk. I refer to these collectively as The Savvy Director’s Focus.

Board directors don’t need to be experts in these areas, but we should all have at least a basic understanding of them. And so, today’s blog focuses on what a board director needs to know about...

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