The Importance of Good Governance Relations!
The relationship dynamics between the Company Secretary, Chairman, Non-Executives Directors and the Chief Executives can be tricky to navigate, but good relationships between these key figures is imperative given that all of these roles contribute to the effectiveness of the board.
The Chairman’s role is pivotal to a high functioning board as he or she strives, among other responsibilities, to ensure that the board concentrates on strategic matters, receives timely and accurate information, allows enough time for full discussion and encourages active engagement within the board itself.
This role can often find itself at odds with the chief executive officer, who as leader of the management team may be seeking to drive board discussions in different directions or may have their own views on what management information should be presented to the board. However, as both positions should in effect act as a check and balance on the other, it is important that this relationship is a positive one.
The Company Secretary, acting as a facilitator, is often in the perfect position to help nurture this delicate relationship. Although the Company Secretary’s ultimate duty is to the board, as the key officer responsible for governance, it is in the best interests of the Company Secretary and the company as a whole, to ensure strong and effective relationships exist between the different members of the board. This won’t always be easy, as he or she balances the different personalities and priorities of board members, whilst ensuring that they remain an independent source of advice for both non-executive and executive directors alike in regards to governance and company matters.
Bitesize Governance Series
At Bridgehouse, we understand the importance of getting these relationships right, and so we focused on this topic in our 2nd event in the series of Bitesize Governance, held in conjunction with our partners for the project Wedlake Bell LLP, UHY Hacker Young and First Flight Non-Executive Directors.
The group led discussion focused on the role of the Chair, and the often complex web of relationships that exist between the Chair, Non-Executive Directors and Company Secretaries.
The event was once again well attended and provided the perfect environment for our esteemed delegates to share their real-life governance experiences and challenges. It was great to see such an eclectic mix of delegates.
“What a super event! Please do pass my thanks on – and please invite me again.”
Caroline Evans, Director at MindLeap
Discussions covered a wide range of issues such as:
- How Non-Executive Directors, Executive Directors and Company Secretaries can get the best out of each other
- How to manage people with strong convictions on the board where individual voices have to give way
- How to deal with a chairman who is rather dominant than open to debate
Other feedback from attendees included:
“Very useful discussion, well managed with a good mix of people and experience”
“A very useful learning experience”
We shall be holding more Bitesize Governance events – watch this space for the next date and topic!