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GRC Professional : GRC Spring 2011
32 grc professional • Spring 2011 32 grc professional • Spring 2011 in the oFFiCe don’t know” – in some ways their position makes them more vulnerable than most and yet they bear more responsibility than most. We, on the other hand, believe we know it all, we are experts, we come with the belief that we know what Boards need to know – sounds somewhat arrogant doesn’t it? Not surprisingly, that this is often how our posturing is received. The solution is simple: approach the Chair or the Chair of the Audit and Risk Committee and ask them want they want you to do. if it is that simple, why doesn’t this action of itself fix the problem? Consider the following: • Did I pay attention? • Did I intend to do anything differently? • Did I make sure through additional questioning or clarification that I truly understood the message I was receiving? • DidIaskthequestion– “soifIweretodo ... ...... ...... ...... ...... would this meet your needs”? • Did I validate the response by replaying my intended course of action? do i understand my own style? Understanding how you behave is important to understanding what you need to change and why. This is not a superficial analysis but one that requires an understanding of beliefs and what drives them, of how you react and why. It is only then that you can attempt to change the way you interact and will experience a different level of engagement with others – in this case the Board. There are any number of models in the market and many of you will have been subject to them in your workplace. The challenge is to draw the clues from these models and to work at changing the attributes that are getting in the way of your impact. If you haven’t had the benefit of a behavioural analysis then consider having one done; if you have, go back and reconsider what it is telling you that could shed light on your engagement model. Decide what you need to change and develop a plan to do that – and then EXECUTE THE PLAN. how do i create value for the Board What is the saying – value is in the eye of the beholder – so how do you create value? What is your value proposition? Try constructing the following from the point of view of the Board • I work with you/help you to ...................... • By .............................. • So that you can ................ And make it concise so it can be the 30 second elevator pitch. There are a number of facets that need to be addressed to bring about the change you desire: • How do I regard the Board? • Do I know what the Board wants from me? • Do I understand my own style? • How do I create value for the Board? • Do I know how to listen and answer the question I was asked? • Is there anything I need to change? • How do I get feedback to help me improve? • Do I have a champion, mentor, coach – do they know what I need? • When do I know I have succeeded? how do i regard the Board? We all know (I hope) that belief underpins behaviour. Oft times the way we interact with the Board if based on a preset belief. Consider whether any of the following apply: • The Board members are superior to me – they represent authority figures who shouldn’t be challenged – they will ask me if they need to know something. • The Board is at risk if I don’t tell them everything that could go wrong – they can’t save themselves so I have to save them from themselves. • The Board has significant responsibilities – I can help them achieve their goals. It is easy to see that you will get very different interactions with the Board depending on the belief you hold. do i know what the Board wants from me? Two common misconceptions give rise to an expectation gap that could easily be resolved through a conversation with the Board: • The Board is omnipotent. • Iknowwhatyouneedtoknow–Iam an expert. Any Board, if constituted along the lines of AS8000 or the ASX Governance Principles, will have members who are very competent, have the right mix of technical skills, behaviours and a high regard for their overriding directors’ duties. Despite this, what concerns most Boards is “not knowing what I We, on the other hand, believe we know it all, we are experts, we come with the belief that we know what Boards need to know – sounds somewhat arrogant doesn’t it? not surprisingly, that this is often how our posturing is received.
GRC Summer 2012