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Building TRUST in Governance.

First up, I know that not everyone will agree with the following comments – but I feel they need to be said. Also, I want to acknowledge the hundreds of dedicated directors who work tirelessly in unpaid, often difficult roles. However, as more and more great CEOs exit disability and aged care, I wanted to list some of the things I’ve witnessed that may be accelerating this trend and weakening the capacity of governance to handle an extremely complex operating environment. In no priority order, here’s a few governance practices I’ve seen first-hand:

  • Chairs who criticise or humiliate their CEOs in front of their staff.

  • Chairs who use organisational size as an excuse for their ignorance.

  • Super smart directors who don’t offer support (or even speak up) on issues that directly relate to their area of expertise.

  • Directors who resign rather than address really tough issues.

  • Directors who have never visited sites of frontline service delivery or spoken to frontline staff. (Never heard the voice of their frontline employee first hand).

  • Directors who have never spoken with participants, residents or their families. (Never heard the voice of their customer first hand).

  • Directors who rely on their CEO to do ALL the networking and open all the doors.

Boards who continue to sit on a corpus of funds ‘for a rainy day’, refusing to acknowledge the perfect storm that’s been raging for some time now. (If you don't actively pursue disruption you will be disrupted.) The role of CEO has to be better supported. This means a courageous, engaged board. (Some boards are so risk averse it’s a strategic risk!) Over the last two years I’ve seen some extraordinarily dedicated CEOs pay an enormous personal price. This is not sustainable. We need more directors who are prepared to come to grips with the realities of the daily operating environment; more directors who understand that workforce shortages are a strategic issue not just an operational one and actively seek more creative solutions; more directors who are prepared to live and breathe the mission - and can actually tell you what it is. Sorry to sound so harsh. But retaining talented leadership and delivering quality frontline outcomes requires TRUST - and the relationship between the CEO and their Board is where it starts. #governance #disability #agedcare #leadership #workplaceculture #nonprofit


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