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GovernWith blog for Boards, Directors and Executives who want to develop their governance capabilities so they achive their strategic goals and mitigate risk

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The Boardroom Bystander Effect

The Boardroom Bystander Effect

Coming out of the 2023 GovernWith Contemporary Governance Risks Whitepaper, there was an interesting phenomenon we saw trending through the data. The data collected had more than 2,000 individual contributions across both the Board Governance Review and the Director Skills Matrix. These two assessments meet two different criteria and require different “context hats” worn when completing them. The Board Governance Review is answered by an individual’s gauge, or evaluation, of how assured the board is that the whole organisation (board and executive included) are delivering on their Corporate, Sector Specific and Contemporary Governance roles and responsibilities. The Director Skills Matrix is answered by an individual considering their own understanding, qualifications and experience in relation to their Sector, Professional and Contemporary skills, measuring their level of capability.
While not entirely reflective of the psychological definition “an individual being less likely to help a person in need while in the presence of others”, the core message that bystanders often assume someone else will step in, is what we want to highlight. 

The diffusion of responsibility, particularly in contemporary governance issues, was demonstrated when comparing an individual’s view of the organisation’s capacity overall - often being quite positive, yet individually most in these same areas indicated their own capabilities were foundational. This emphasises, and gives evidence to, an attitude of pluralistic ignorance where boards may not have the ability to recognise or ask the right questions around trends and issues, if each of them is expecting another to have the educated knowledge and experience to be the voice in those areas.  
If a board has reflected in the Governance Review that the organisation are highly proficient in a particular area, but the group results of the individual skills matrix indicate most directors are foundational in their own capabilities - these results don’t align and give urgency to the risks and impact of bystander thinking. 

What a fantastic opportunity we have through this data in how we can individually reflect and respond. Shown through centuries of evolution and human behaviour we witness the ultimate benefits of being altruistic, curious and community serving. It’s up to each of us to make having an educated foundation for our thinking important, and to show initiative in seeking out that self development. These human centric trends and issues we see at the forefront of governance now are everybody’s responsibility. For a board, executive and whole organisation to be its most capable and sustainable, every member needs to be a participator in their ongoing development, training and preparation in contributing to these conversations. In 2024 our goal at GovernWith is to ignite and support proactive participation, leaving bystander apathy behind in 2023. 

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Director Risk without a Response Plan

Director Risk without a Response Plan

Evolving Directors' Roles in the Face of Cybersecurity Challenges

In the dynamic realm of contemporary business, where digitalisation is paramount, directors find themselves grappling with intricate decisions and unforeseen obstacles. Cybersecurity, once a distant concern, has now emerged as a pressing threat capable of disrupting an organisation's core functions. The pivotal question arises: Are directors accountable for the aftermath of a cyber attack if they lack a proactive incident response plan?

Director Risk without a Response Plan Snippet


Grasping the Concept of Foreseeable Risk

The notion of foreseeable risk delves into directors' responsibilities concerning cybersecurity readiness. Through a dialogue led by Wes Ward, the significance of conceivable risk is explored, shedding light on potential consequences directors might encounter without a robust incident response plan. Vera Visevic navigates this complex terrain, drawing parallels with unforeseen events such as the pandemic, and discussing the legal framework that seeks to strike a balance between understanding business challenges and prioritising preparedness.

Directors' Duties and Navigating Foreseeable Risks

The legal landscape acknowledges the intricacies of steering an organisation and aims to harmonise accountability with practicality. While unexpected events might temporarily exempt directors from immediate liability, the scenario shifts when it comes to risks that are increasingly foreseeable. Much like the pandemic underscored the need for readiness, the ascent of cyber attacks and environmental disruptions demands proactive involvement from directors. The law underscores that reasonable individuals would acknowledge the mounting frequency of cyber threats and environmental disturbances, necessitating discussions, assessments, and protective measures.

From News Headlines to Boardroom Agendas

Media outlets are rife with narratives of cyber attacks, underscoring the urgency of cybersecurity dialogues at the upper echelons of governance. Vera aptly highlights that ignoring the evident threat is no longer viable. With cyber security incidents dominating headlines, directors can no longer feign ignorance of the impending danger. Similar to the impacts of climate change on communities worldwide, cyber attacks are influencing organisations across industries. Directors must accept the duty of identifying and addressing these trends that have the potential to reshape business landscapes.

The Call for Proactive Responses

The interaction between Wes and Vera underscores that foresight entails responsibility. In the same manner that prudence dictates actions in response to foreseeable natural calamities, the same applies to cyber security. Boards are entrusted with addressing evolving risks that can disrupt operations, compromise data integrity, and tarnish reputations. An organisation's sustainability hinges on its leadership's ability to anticipate and counter risks proactively. The legal framework acknowledges that directors shoulder the obligation to their organisation, stakeholders, and the broader community to engage in informed dialogues and strategic planning that mitigate cyber threats.

A New Governance Paradigm

The convergence of technology, cyber security, and environmental challenges has ushered in a novel governance paradigm. Directors are no longer insulated from these pressing concerns; they are called upon to lead with a comprehensive grasp of foreseeable risks. The concept of conceivable risk acts as a compass, guiding directors toward proactive preparedness. As organisations navigate the complexities of the contemporary business landscape, the onus rests on directors to partake in ongoing discussions, evaluate evolving risks, and implement measures that shield their entities from the multifaceted threats that envelop them.

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Director Development

Director Development

Navigating the Evolving Landscape of Director Development

In the ever-evolving world of corporate governance, director development has taken on new dimensions. The complexities of modern governance, including emerging issues like ESG (Environmental, Social, and Governance) and the omnipresent concern of cybersecurity, have transformed the landscape for board members across the country. In this article, we'll explore the challenges and opportunities directors face in staying ahead of the curve and how continuous learning has become an indispensable part of the director's journey through the Director Lifecycle From Recruitment to Retirement.

Director Development Snippet


The Complex Life of a Director

To say that the life of a director has become more complex would be an understatement. Directors today grapple with a multitude of challenges that demand their attention and expertise. Among these challenges, several stand out prominently:

  1. ESG Issues: Environmental, Social, and Governance issues have taken centre stage in corporate governance discussions. Boards are increasingly expected to address sustainability concerns, ethical practices, and social impact, all while ensuring strong governance practices.
  2. Cybersecurity: In an era of digital transformation, cybersecurity has become a paramount concern. Boards find themselves immersed in discussions about data breaches, privacy, and safeguarding their organisations against cyber threats.
  3. Human Resources: The war for talent rages on, intensifying the focus on human resources. Directors are tasked with strategic workforce planning, talent acquisition, and employee engagement to stay competitive.
  4. Continuous Learning: Perhaps the most profound change is the recognition that even the most accomplished directors must remain humble enough to acknowledge that they are always learning. The pace of change is unprecedented, and what was considered cutting-edge knowledge just a few years ago may now be outdated.

The Pursuit of Knowledge: An Ongoing Journey through the Director Lifecycle

Directors, often individuals with extensive experience and high levels of expertise, face a unique challenge. They must balance their well-earned confidence with the humility to acknowledge that they must continue learning. In an era where information and best practices rapidly evolve, embracing continual education is not just advantageous; it's essential for the Director Lifecycle From Recruitment to Retirement.

Adapting to Emerging Knowledge

The dynamic nature of governance means that directors need to adapt to emerging knowledge continually. Take, for instance, the realm of climate change. What directors understood about this topic three years ago is likely insufficient today. Staying current with emerging areas of consideration is crucial for successful director development.

Two Dimensions of Continuous Education

Directors seeking to thrive in this evolving landscape must engage in two dimensions of continuous education:

  1. Technical Knowledge: Keeping up with the latest developments in areas like ESG and cybersecurity requires directors to stay informed. Engaging in workshops, seminars, and industry-specific courses can help them develop the technical knowledge needed to address these issues effectively within the Director Lifecycle.
  2. Adaptive Leadership: Beyond technical know-how, directors must nurture their adaptive leadership skills. This involves cultivating the ability to navigate uncertainty, foster innovation, and lead their organisations through periods of transformation within the Director Lifecycle.


The life of a director has become increasingly intricate, marked by a constant need to adapt and learn throughout the Director Lifecycle From Recruitment to Retirement. ESG, cybersecurity, human resources, and the ever-changing corporate landscape demand directors who are not only knowledgeable but also agile in their leadership.

To excel in this environment, directors must embrace a culture of continuous education. It's a journey that requires humility, curiosity, and a commitment to staying at the forefront of governance practices within the Director Lifecycle. As the pace of change shows no sign of slowing, the directors who thrive will be those who recognise that the pursuit of knowledge is a lifelong endeavour in director development.

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Planning Recruitment

Planning Recruitment

Evolving Director Recruitment and Promoting Diversity in the Director Lifecycle

In the realm of board governance and the director lifecycle, the process of director recruitment has witnessed a significant transformation. This article explores the changing landscape of board recruitment, emphasising diversity and the role of professional recruitment firms. Discover how planning, governance, and embracing diversity are shaping the Director Lifecycle from Recruitment to Retirement.

Planning Recruitment Snippet


Transforming the Director Lifecycle

The Director Lifecycle, from recruitment to retirement, is undergoing a shift in paradigms, particularly in the realm of director recruitment. Fi Mercer and Megan Motto, experts in board governance, highlight the changing dynamics:

1. Progress in Professionalism

Director recruitment has evolved into a more professional process. Organisations recognise the importance of bringing skilled and diverse individuals into their boards, emphasising the need for professionalism.

2. Breaking the Boys Club

Traditional practices, often characterised by a "boys club" mentality, are gradually fading away. The emphasis is on promoting gender diversity and inclusivity in the director selection process.

3. Beyond Gender Diversity

Diversity in the boardroom goes beyond gender. It encompasses individuals from various nationalities, with diverse skill sets, tenures, and perspectives. This diversity enriches decision-making and strategic planning.

4. The Role of Professional Recruitment Firms

Organisations are increasingly turning to professional recruitment firms to elevate the director recruitment process. This shift aligns with the goal of ensuring a comprehensive and unbiased approach.

Why Professional Recruitment Matters

  • Extensive Networks: Professional recruitment firms boast extensive networks that extend beyond personal connections, broadening the candidate pool for director positions.
  • Scope Clarity: These firms help organisations define the scope of their director recruitment, identifying specific skills, experiences, and attributes required for the role.
  • Rigorous Assessment: Professional firms introduce rigour and objectivity, challenging assumptions, and ensuring well-considered selection criteria.
  • Diversity Promotion: By widening the candidate search and advocating for diversity, professional recruitment firms contribute to more inclusive and enriched boardrooms.

In conclusion, the Director Lifecycle, spanning recruitment to retirement, is undergoing a profound transformation with a renewed focus on planning, governance, and diversity. While personal networks remain relevant, there's a growing realisation that fresh perspectives and diverse skill sets are essential in the boardroom. Professional recruitment firms are invaluable partners in this journey, helping organisations find directors who can shape their futures. It's time to invest the same level of attention and rigour in director recruitment as we do for other critical roles within our organisations. Embracing diversity and professionalism ensures a robust Director Lifecycle that propels organisations toward success.

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Planning Director Recruitment

Planning Director Recruitment

The Board Lifecycle: From Recruitment to Retirement

In the domain of governance and board directorship, meticulous planning plays a pivotal role throughout the entire board lifecycle. It's an aspect often underestimated as organisations hurriedly proceed with board member recruitment. However, it serves as the foundation for constructing successful boards and nurturing the professional growth of individual directors. In this article, we'll delve into the board lifecycle, covering the essential phases from recruitment to retirement, and underscore the importance of methodical planning.

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The Director's Journey: From Recruitment to Retirement

Directors' journeys within boards, spanning various sectors including healthcare, aged care, human services, education, and communities, can be likened to a meticulously orchestrated symphony. Each phase of this lifecycle, from recruitment to retirement, demands coherent planning and execution.

1. Recruitment Phase:

  • Planning for Board Roles: Board member recruitment commences with strategic planning. Organisations need to carefully outline the skills, behaviours, and governance attributes they seek in potential directors.
  • Network Building: Networking serves as the prelude to directorship. Aspiring directors should proactively cultivate relationships within their sector.
  • Identifying Suitable Boards: A crucial note at the outset is identifying boards that align with an individual director's skills and aspirations.

2. Development Phase:

  • Skill Enhancement: Directors must embark on a continuous journey of skill development. This entails acquiring knowledge relevant to their sector and staying updated with governance trends.
  • Strategic Alignment: Aligning personal expertise with an organisation's strategic objectives is vital. This alignment ensures directors contribute effectively.

3. Contribution Phase:

  • Navigating Change: The director's role evolves as organisations face disruptions. Directors should adeptly navigate change, implementing innovative strategies.
  • Governance Excellence: Upholding governance best practices remains a constant. Directors must maintain high governance standards throughout their tenure.

4. Retirement Phase:

  • Succession Planning: As directors near retirement, succession planning comes into play. Organisations should plan for smooth transitions to fill vacant board positions.
  • Mentoring Future Directors: Retired directors can play a mentoring role, guiding the next generation of board members.

In conclusion, the board lifecycle, from recruitment to retirement, resembles a meticulously composed symphony that demands careful planning at each phase. Aspiring directors must plan for their roles, build networks, and continuously develop their skills. Organisations, in turn, must strategise for recruitment, nurture directors' growth, and ensure seamless transitions upon retirement. By prioritising planning and governance throughout the board lifecycle, both individuals and boards contribute significantly to the success and sustainability of organisations.

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The Director Lifecycle

The Director Lifecycle

Director Recruitment Cycle - The Director Lifecycle

In the world of corporate governance, directors hold a pivotal role, requiring meticulous adherence to best practices and a continuous commitment to personal and professional development. It goes beyond fulfilling corporate governance duties; it involves self-assessment and growth. In this article, we will delve into the Director's Lifecycle, a crucial facet of board governance, drawing insights from Fi Mercer, an authority in this field.

Director Lifecycle Snippet


1. Planning: The Cornerstone of Directorship

The director's journey commences with thoughtful planning. Prior to stepping into the boardroom, one must possess a clear grasp of the organisation's mission, values, and objectives. This phase necessitates the identification of skills and expertise essential for effective board contribution, aligning personal aspirations with the organisation's vision.

2. Recruitment: Selecting the Perfect Fit

The recruitment of directors stands as a pivotal step in building a high-performing board. Boards must meticulously pinpoint individuals possessing not only the requisite skills but also a resonance with the organisation's core values and goals. The recruitment process should be rigorous, transparent, and impartial, fostering both board diversity and competence.

3. Induction: The Onboarding Experience

Induction acts as the bridge connecting planning to effective directorship. New directors must engage in a comprehensive onboarding process, acquainting themselves with the organisation's culture, policies, and governance structures. It's an opportunity to grasp the board's expectations and the roles they are set to undertake.

4. Development: Continuous Growth

Astute directors acknowledge that learning is an ongoing voyage. Development entails refining existing skills, acquiring new ones, and staying attuned to emerging trends. Organisations must offer directors opportunities to partake in training sessions, workshops, and conferences that augment their governance proficiencies.

5. Mentorship: Guiding Lights

Mentorship occupies a pivotal role in the Director's Lifecycle. Experienced directors provide invaluable guidance to those in the nascent stages of their journey. Mentorship programs facilitate knowledge transfer, cultivate leadership abilities, and establish a platform for candid discussions and issue resolution.

6. Retirement: A Graceful Transition

Every directorship carries a finite tenure, and retirement is an inevitable phase. Retirement planning should commence well in advance to ensure a seamless handover. Departing directors should contribute to identifying their successors and transmitting their wisdom to maintain board continuity and effectiveness.


The Director's Lifecycle is an all-encompassing framework guiding individuals through their boardroom governance journey. It encompasses planning, recruitment, induction, development, mentorship, and retirement, all of which are indispensable to becoming a proficient and responsible director.

Boards and directors alike must recognise the significance of each phase and invest in them. Focusing solely on corporate responsibilities is insufficient; personal growth and development are equally vital. By adhering to this lifecycle, boards can guarantee that they fulfil not only their governance obligations but also nurture a pool of adept and dedicated directors, steering their organisations towards triumph.

In the ever-evolving landscape of boardrooms, the Director's Lifecycle serves as the compass, keeping directors on track, empowering them to adeptly navigate the challenges and opportunities of board governance. Whether you are a seasoned director or embarking on your directorial journey, remember that the Director's Lifecycle is your blueprint for excellence in boardroom leadership.

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Director Education Internal and External

Director Education Internal and External

Navigating the Evolving Director's Journey: Balancing Internal and External Education

In the dynamic realm of corporate governance, directors are the compass guiding organisations through changing tides. Success hinges on their expertise and adaptability. In this article, we delve into the pivotal role of continuous director education, emphasising both internal and external learning as vital components of their journey through the Director Lifecycle From Recruitment to Retirement.

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Embracing the Ever-Changing Business Landscape

Businesses, irrespective of their size or industry, are in a perpetual state of evolution. As astutely highlighted by Megan Motto, a stagnant business is unlikely to prosper in today's dynamic environment. Thriving organisations constantly adapt to new challenges, seize emerging opportunities, and innovate to maintain their competitiveness. Within this context, directors must proactively keep pace with the ever-evolving business landscape.

Internal Learning: Gaining an Inside Perspective

One facet of director education revolves around gaining an in-depth understanding of the organisation they oversee. This knowledge encompasses various critical aspects, such as:

  • Organisational Dynamics: Directors must comprehend the intricacies of how their organisation operates, from its structural design to its unique culture. A profound understanding of the inner workings enables directors to make informed decisions aligned with the company's core values and strategic goals.
  • Current Affairs: Recognising that businesses operate within a broader context, directors must remain attuned to external factors such as economic trends, industry shifts, and market fluctuations. This awareness empowers directors to navigate the organisation effectively in the face of external influences.
  • Alignment of Strategy: Directors play a pivotal role in shaping and aligning the company's strategic direction. It falls upon them to ensure that the business's goals and initiatives seamlessly integrate with its long-term vision.

Internal learning necessitates sustained engagement with the organisation's fundamental functions, diverse departments, and its invaluable workforce. This intimate knowledge empowers directors to navigate the internal landscape effectively.

External Learning: Embracing an Outside Perspective

While internal learning is undeniably indispensable, external learning holds equal significance. Directors should broaden their horizons by seeking knowledge beyond the confines of their organisation. External learning encompasses a multifaceted approach:

  • Functional Skill Sets: As the business landscape evolves, so do the skill sets demanded of directors. For instance, a comprehensive understanding of cybersecurity has become paramount. Directors must not only grasp the technical intricacies but also navigate the legal and ethical dimensions, including issues related to insurance and privacy legislation.
  • ESG (Environmental, Social, and Governance): The 'S' in ESG has gained prominence as organisations increasingly focus on social responsibility. Directors must stay abreast of emerging social issues and their impact on business operations. This entails vigilance against greenwashing and a discerning eye for ambitious plans that may not translate into tangible results.
  • Legal and Regulatory Changes: The regulatory landscape is inherently fluid. Directors must remain well-informed about new laws, compliance requirements, and potential legal challenges that may impact their organisation.
  • Market Trends: Directors should actively monitor industry trends and emerging market dynamics. This heightened awareness empowers them to identify opportunities and threats that can significantly influence the company's strategic decisions.

External learning isn't confined to traditional education; it extends to networking, attending seminars, active participation in industry conferences, and engaging with experts and thought leaders. Directors must actively seek opportunities to augment their knowledge from external sources.

Conclusion: Striking the Right Balance

Directors navigate a fine line between internal and external learning. While comprehending the intricacies of their organisation is pivotal, it's equally essential to remain attuned to external forces shaping the business's future. Continuous director education transcends choice; it assumes the form of an imperative for directors committed to steering their organisations toward success.

As we venture into 2023, the role of directors in promoting sustainable and responsible business practices has never been more crucial. Directors must be equipped with the knowledge and skills necessary to address contemporary challenges, from cybersecurity threats to social responsibility. By embracing a holistic approach to education, directors can guarantee their effectiveness as stewards of their organisations amidst the ever-evolving business landscape.

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Director Development Having Broad Knowledge

Director Development Having Broad Knowledge

Unveiling the Director's Arsenal: The Significance of Broad Knowledge

In the realm of corporate governance, directors are the compass guiding organisations towards triumph. Megan Motto, an authority in the field, shines a spotlight on a pivotal facet of director development that often goes unnoticed but wields profound influence: the cultivation of broad knowledge. This article explores the importance of nurturing a diverse spectrum of insights, trends, and issues, both internally and externally, to augment a director's efficacy.

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The Quest for Comprehensive Knowledge

Directors shoulder multifaceted responsibilities, encompassing strategic decision-making, financial oversight, and ensuring the organisation's long-term vitality. While these roles are well-documented, an equally vital aspect beckons our attention: the relentless pursuit of broad knowledge.

The Inner and Outer Horizons

Broad knowledge spans a tapestry of insights, ranging from industry-specific trends to global societal concerns. It entails staying attuned to internal happenings within your organisation and remaining vigilant about the world's unfolding events. Here's why it holds sway:

  1. A Holistic Outlook
    Directors often have the privilege of serving on multiple boards, engaging with diverse organisations, and interfacing with varying industries. This exposure fosters a holistic perspective, enabling directors to draw parallels, share best practices, and unearth innovative solutions that can be transplanted within their own organisations.
  2. Navigating an Ever-Changing Terrain
    The business landscape witnesses ceaseless transformation, from technological strides to regulatory realignments. Directors must remain ahead of these shifts to make judicious decisions. Through active participation in industry conferences, networking with peers, and enrolling in training programs, directors can sustain their knowledge currency.
  3. The Potency of Networking
    Networking constitutes the cornerstone of broad knowledge. It entails not just forging connections with fellow directors but also engaging with experts, thought leaders, and professionals hailing from diverse domains. These connections serve as wellsprings of information, allowing directors to tap into a trove of insights and expertise.
  4. Amplifying Board Effectiveness
    The dividends of broad knowledge extend to the boardroom. Directors armed with an extensive understanding of multifaceted aspects of business, governance, and societal trends make substantive contributions to board deliberations. They proffer fresh perspectives, pinpoint potential hazards, and assist in crafting strategic initiatives harmonising with the organisation's objectives.

Cultivating Broad Knowledge

The nurturing of broad knowledge necessitates diligence and a proactive stance. Here are strategies directors can employ:

  • Participation in Conferences and Events: Industry-specific gatherings, seminars, and conferences furnish a platform for immersing oneself in the latest trends and breakthroughs. These forums facilitate networking and the exchange of ideas.
  • Voracious Reading: Staying abreast of current events, perusing industry journals, and devouring thought-provoking literature widen your knowledge purview. Encourage colleagues, directors, and executives to exchange reading recommendations.
  • Internal Collaboration: Champion knowledge-sharing within your organisation. Foster cross-functional collaboration and open dialogues among team members. Capitalise on the diverse expertise residing within your ranks.
  • Engagement with Professional Bodies: Professional organisations such as the Governance Institute proffer invaluable resources and training programs. Contemplate enrolling in courses or participating in webinars to elevate your governance acumen.
  • Mentorship and Peer Learning: Forge mentorship ties with seasoned directors and seek avenues for peer learning. Sharing experiences and insights proves mutually enriching.

In summation, broad knowledge stands as the linchpin of success for directors navigating today's dynamic landscape. It equips directors with the sagacity to make informed decisions, contribute efficaciously to board dialogues, and remain in stride with burgeoning trends. Through active pursuit of diverse insights, directors can elevate their governance proficiencies, steering their organisations towards a prosperous future.

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Director Development Education and Accountability

Director Development Education and Accountability

Empowering Directors: Navigating the Digital Age with Continuous Education

In today's dynamic business landscape, the role of directors in corporate governance has undergone a profound transformation. What was once a traditional framework has expanded to encompass a comprehensive understanding of technical skills, data security, and the digital domain. Megan Motto, an eminent authority in the field, emphasises the paramount importance of ongoing director education. This article delves into the imperative for all directors to continually upskill, explores the essential knowledge domains they should master, and underscores the significance of external education in shaping boards that are both accountable and effective.

Director Development Accountability Snippet


The Evolving Directorship Landscape

Directors, as stewards of organisations, have a crucial role in navigating them through the ever-evolving business terrain. This landscape has notably shifted towards the digital sphere, where data and technology reign supreme. Consequently, the responsibilities of directors have expanded to include an intricate understanding of technical intricacies and the formidable challenges of cybersecurity.

Megan Motto advocates for boards to reevaluate their skill sets and welcome directors who possess advanced technical capabilities. However, the call for upskilling extends to every director, regardless of their professional background. This is because a director's fiduciary duty hinges on two critical abilities: the aptitude to pose pertinent questions and the possession of a discerning "alertness" to identify discrepancies.

The Power of Inquiring Effectively

Directors are entrusted with safeguarding the interests of shareholders and stakeholders. To execute this responsibility efficiently, they must possess the knowledge required to ask insightful questions. These inquiries can unearth crucial information, challenge preconceptions, and steer strategic decision-making.

Consider the realm of data security. In today's data-centric world, being well-versed in fundamental concepts is no longer a matter of choice. Directors should have a sound grasp of concepts such as APIs (Application Programming Interfaces), cybersecurity platforms, and attack surfaces. They should comprehend the intricacies of data storage, including where and how the organisation's data is stored, and identify the crown jewels of this data—the most sensitive and vital assets.

Enhancing Director Accountability

Directors frequently encounter complex information and reports. It is their duty to discern when something doesn't align or when they are presented with incomplete or inaccurate data. This is where the "alertness" comes into play. Directors must possess adequate knowledge to detect discrepancies, inconsistencies, or warning signs in the information they receive.

Upholding executive accountability is of paramount importance. Without the expertise to question and challenge, directors risk making decisions based on partial or inaccurate information. Such decisions can have severe repercussions for the organisation and its stakeholders.

The Role of External Education

While internal education within the boardroom is invaluable, external education plays an equally critical role. The digital landscape is in a constant state of flux, necessitating that directors remain ahead of the curve. Here are some essential areas where external education can make a significant impact:

  1. Technical Proficiency: Directors should invest in acquiring knowledge of technical concepts relevant to their industry. Whether it pertains to data storage, cybersecurity, or emerging technologies, continuous learning is indispensable.
  2. Cybersecurity Awareness: In an era where cyber threats loom large, directors must understand the nuances of cybersecurity. This includes identifying vulnerabilities, comprehending threat vectors, and staying updated on the latest security measures.
  3. Industry-Specific Insight: Different industries present unique challenges. Directors should actively seek education tailored to their sector, ensuring they stay well-informed about industry trends, regulatory changes, and emerging risks.


In a rapidly digitising world, the role of directors extends beyond the confines of the boardroom into the digital realm. Continuous education is not a luxury—it is a necessity. Directors must equip themselves with the knowledge and skills required to navigate the complexities of the digital age. The ability to pose pertinent questions and possess a discerning "alertness" exemplifies an effective director. By embracing external education and staying abreast of technical and cybersecurity advancements, directors can empower themselves to lead their organisations with confidence into the future, ensuring both accountability and effectiveness in governance.

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Director Mentorship

Director Mentorship

Nurturing Directors: The Vital Role of Mentorship in the Director Lifecycle

In the intricate world of corporate governance, a director's journey is marked by continuous learning and adaptability. Directors bear the weighty responsibility of steering an organisation's strategic course, navigating through shifting industry dynamics, managing risks, and contributing their distinct insights to board deliberations. Given this multifaceted role, mentorship emerges as an indispensable facet of a director's lifecycle.

In a candid conversation, Fi Mercer and Megan Motto delve into the significance of mentorship in a director's journey. They shed light on how experienced directors and executives play a pivotal role in guiding and nurturing the next generation of board members, ensuring a seamless transition and sustained growth.

Director Mentorship Snippet


The Crucial Link: Mentorship in Director Lifecycle

Fi Mercer initiates the discussion by underscoring the pivotal role of mentorship in a director's lifecycle. She acknowledges the duty of seasoned directors and executives to extend a guiding hand to novices, facilitating their smooth entry into the world of governance.

Megan Motto concurs wholeheartedly, emphasising that mentorship is an integral component of being a director. She stresses that mentorship can manifest within or outside an organisation. Be it an informal tête-à-tête before a board meeting or a structured mentoring program, the objective remains the same: to offer support and validation to emerging directors.

Empowering Confidence and Fostering Inclusivity

Mentorship transcends the mere imparting of guidance; it revolves around cultivating confidence in new directors. Megan Motto elucidates that while emerging directors may possess brilliant ideas, they often require affirmation to feel self-assured about voicing their viewpoints. A mentor assumes a pivotal role in assuring them of the value of their insights.

Furthermore, mentorship contributes to a sense of inclusivity and belonging. Just as employees flourish when they forge close bonds with colleagues at work, directors thrive when they know they have allies around the boardroom table. In this context, inclusivity signifies not only making emerging directors feel welcome but also motivating them to engage actively.

Harnessing Fresh Perspectives: The Power of Emerging Directors

Megan Motto underscores the significance of new directors and their innovative ideas. Unencumbered by the baggage of history, these individuals bring fresh and novel perspectives to the boardroom. To harness this potential, mentorship emerges as a critical tool in aiding these emerging leaders in finding their voices.

Diversity and inclusion are not mere buzzwords; they are foundational to an organisation's success. New directors, with their diverse backgrounds and experiences, serve as a valuable wellspring of diversity. Ensuring they feel self-assured and adequately equipped to contribute is essential for achieving genuine inclusivity.

In Closing: The Mentorship Imperative

Within the sphere of corporate governance, mentorship acts as a bridge, linking seasoned directors with those embarking on their governance odyssey. It serves as a conduit for the transfer of knowledge, the nurturing of self-assurance, and the cultivation of innovative perspectives.

Aspiring directors should actively seek mentorship opportunities, while experienced directors should contemplate taking on mentorship roles. Through mentorship, we can foster a more inclusive and dynamic boardroom culture where every director is empowered to actively participate.

In the ever-evolving landscape of governance, mentorship is not merely a choice; it is an ethical obligation—one that possesses the potential to shape the future of corporate leadership.

The symphony of governance resonates more harmoniously when we embrace the transformative power of mentorship.

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Director Mentorship Inside and Outside the Organisation

Director Mentorship Inside and Outside the Organisation

Enhancing Director Development: Balancing Internal and External Mentorship

In the realm of corporate governance, mentorship stands as a cornerstone for nurturing directors throughout their career lifecycles. Whether they are aspiring or seasoned directors, mentorship offers invaluable guidance, wisdom, and support. However, the effectiveness of mentorship is not solely the responsibility of the mentor; it equally depends on the active participation and initiative of the mentee.

Director Mentorship Inside and Outside the Organisation Snippet


The Mentee's Active Role

Megan Motto, an accomplished expert in director development, emphasises the collaborative nature of mentorship. She underscores that the impetus for mentorship should be shared between the mentor and the mentee. According to her, mentees should actively seek out mentorship opportunities and demonstrate commitment to their own growth and advancement. This proactive approach ensures that mentees are genuinely dedicated to their personal and professional development.

Mentorship is not a one-sided endeavour where mentors shoulder all the responsibilities. Megan encourages mentees to take the reins and proactively steer their mentorship journey. She highlights the significance of mentees taking charge and actively owning their development. This approach is rooted in the belief that individuals who actively drive their growth are more likely to excel in their directorial careers.

Choosing Between Internal and External Mentors

During her conversation with Fi Mercer, Megan delves into an intriguing aspect of mentorship: the choice between internal and external mentors. While internal mentors offer valuable insights into an organisation's specific dynamics, external mentors bring an entirely fresh perspective to the mentoring relationship.

The Role of Internal Mentors

Megan advocates for a balanced approach, underscoring the importance of having both internal and external mentors. Internal mentors, often senior executives or experienced directors within the same organisation, can provide mentees with insights into the company's culture, operations, and strategic objectives. These mentors offer tailored guidance that aligns with the mentee's current professional context.

The Value of External Mentors

On the other hand, external mentors, who have no direct affiliations with the organisation, bring a broader, impartial perspective. They can introduce mentees to innovative ideas, alternative viewpoints, and strategies that may not have surfaced in internal discussions. Their independence enables them to see beyond the constraints of corporate culture and hierarchy.

The value of external mentors lies in their ability to infuse "blue-sky" thinking into the mentorship equation. They bring a fresh, unburdened viewpoint that can prove invaluable when addressing complex challenges or envisioning the organisation's future. They are unencumbered by historical narratives or preconceived notions that may permeate internal discussions.


In summary, mentorship unfolds as a collaborative endeavour in the director development journey. Megan Motto's insights remind us that mentees bear a pivotal role in steering their growth and development. Their active engagement and unwavering commitment are fundamental to a fruitful mentorship experience.

Moreover, the choice between internal and external mentors introduces depth to the dynamics of mentorship. Both categories of mentors offer distinct perspectives and advantages. Embracing the dual mentorship approach, encompassing both internal and external mentorship, can empower directors to navigate the intricate terrain of governance with confidence and innovation.

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