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I'm not a publicly listed company - why pay attention to the latest FRC code?

On 17 September the Financial Reporting Council (FRC) issued the latest version of the UK Corporate Governance Code (the Code). The Code applies to all publically listed companies, which must report on whether they have complied with the code, and provide an explanation for any areas in which they have not shown compliance.

New board members need help

You’ve found a board that is a good match for your skills, successfully got through the recruitment process, and now you’re a board member. You want to contribute to the organisation as quickly as possible and ‘hit the ground running’, but how do you do this? Your responsibilities as a board member start as soon as you sign up, and you don’t have the luxury of much on-the-job training. This means that you are reliant on a strong induction to get you up to speed on the organisation’s culture, strategy, finances and key risks.

When is a leader, not a leader?

A key role for any board is to provide leadership for the organisation. The board sets the tone, defines the values to drive culture, decides the appetite for risk, assesses the environment, agrees the strategy and monitors performance including financial performance. That’s a big task in anyone’s book. So why is it that boards often do a great deal more than what is set out above? Why do many boards muddy the waters by managing the organisation, rather than leading it?

Trouble at the Top for Tesco

After months of being in the news for falling profits, Tesco grabbed the headlines once again last Monday when it was reported that profits had been overstated by £250M. 4 senior executives were suspended, and a new Chief Finance Officer who was due to start 3 months later was brought in immediately. Share prices fell sharply, and the new Chief Executive Dave Lewis, only in the role 3 weeks, announced an investigation.

'Crisis management' or 'good to great' – which way is your board heading?

Our experience with clients shows that we have 2 main types of organisation which approach us looking for governance support.

Most of our clients practice good governance. They engage Leading Governance to help take their governance from good to great. These clients recognise the value of good governance to their organisation. They are clear about the roles and responsibilities of the board and senior management team. They have a clear vision, and set organisational objectives. They regularly monitor performance. They know what their key risks are, and manage these appropriately. They ensure the right mix of skills and experience on the board and promote a positive culture. These organisations tend to be well run, with good stakeholder involvement and financial stability.

The Nolan Principles - 20 years on...

In 1994, the UK government established a Committee on Standards in Public Life. The committee was chaired by Lord Nolan, and was tasked with making recommendations to improve standards of behaviour in public life. The first report of the committee established the seven principles of public life, also known as the “Nolan principles”. 20 years on from the development of the principles, have they made a difference, and are they still relevant?

The annual board away day – essential for board development, not a wasteful luxury

Many organisations organise an annual retreat or away day for the board. While some have been criticised as being a frivolous luxury, an away day can be just what the doctor ordered to develop an agreed vision, encourage fresh thinking, build morale and promote positive relationships.

Board meeting preparation pays dividends

Have you ever had to chase staff for board papers, not received the papers in time to enable adequate preparation, or not had enough information to be able to ask the right questions at meetings? If you’ve answered yes to any of these, you’re not alone.

Surely improvements in residential care require a focus on governance?

Last week Claire Keatinge, the Commissioner for Older People in Northern Ireland stated that criminal charges should be brought against care homes where staff repeatedly fail to meet standards. Her call came at the launch of a review into the regulation of care homes following a number of highly critical reports into several homes. We believe that a focus on effective governance and leadership in care homes is the answer.

7 deadly governance sins - the lessons from Limerick

The need for good governance is a given. When something goes wrong, an organisation can hit the headlines for all the wrong reasons, as Limerick City of Culture found out earlier this year. We all need to learn from the mistakes made in Limerick, and apply this learning to our own organisations.