On 27 November 2014 the Nelson Marlborough branch held its AGM and annual dinner. Our guest speaker, political journalist Barry Soper, gave a very entertaining talk about his career in journalism including the recent election and the eight Prime Ministers he has worked with during his career.
Professional company director, Sue Sheldon, spoke to us about how to make successful board appointments. Drawing on some recent case studies and her own experiences, she explained how you should think about the skills your company needs, how you can find the right people for your board, the importance of diversity on boards and the benefits of independents.
Dr Deb Shepherd, senior lecturer at the University of Auckland and founding faculty member of The ICEHOUSE Growth programmes, spoke at a Nelson Marlborough branch function on 30 October 2014 in Blenheim. Deb led an interactive discussion about SME’s and in particular she spoke about the value good advice and governance can give SME’s, and how SME’s can work towards getting their first boards in place.
Shamubeel Eaqub, principal economist at NZIER, spoke at a Nelson Marlborough branch function on 7 October 2014. Shamubeel shared his views on the economic, political and policy landscape. He spoke about how the economy was still in a state of economic recovery but this had been uneven across sector; the biggest risks to the economy in the future were geopolitical; technology, urbanisation, global change and an ageing population were all things businesses needed to give thought to; and the new government now has the opportunity to make some big structural policy changes.
On 17 September the Nelson Marlborough branch held a lunch function in Blenheim for the Business Leaders Health and Safety Forum Contractor Initiative. Guest speakers Julian Hughes (Zeroharm Workplaces) and Felicity Caird (Institute of Directors) spoke about the changes to our health and safety legislation, why people in leadership positions have a vital role to play in keeping our workplaces safe, and the types of things directors can do to create safe workplaces. Kelvin Deaker (Marlborough Lines) spoke about his organisation’s health and safety processes and experiences.
Melissa Clark-Reynolds spoke at a Nelson Marlborough lunch function on 3 September in Nelson. Melissa spoke about her entrepreneurial background, focusing in particular on her experiences with MiniMonos, the virtual world she created for boys aged 8-12 years old. She talked about the lessons she has learnt from the difficult decision she made to close the website down which includes making sure your business model is right, considering whether the market or technology has moved on, considering whether there is a better use for your capital and time; and ensuring you have the right team in place.
Murray Sherwin, Chair of the NZ Productivity Commission, spoke at a Nelson Marlborough Branch lunch function on 13 August 2014. Murray explained that the NZ Productivity Commission was an independent Crown entity that carries out productivity related research, inquiry reports and promotes understanding of productivity related issues. In particular, Murray spoke about what productivity is, why it matters and why NZ has most of the essential ingredients to support a high productivity society, and yet still lags behind Australia and other similar OECD countries.
The Business Leaders' Health and Safety Forum Contractor Initiative - The Leadership Challenge was held in Nelson on 24 June 2014. This important initiative aims to help reduce workplace deaths and injuries among New Zealand contractors.
The Nelson Marlborough branch, in conjunction with their sponsors Crowe Horwath, held a cocktail function and panel discussion on 11 June. The discussion was facilitated by Jane Huria, and panellists Rob Williams, Marina Hirst-Tristram and Mike Glover drew on their own governance experiences to contribute to a lively discussion about the relationship between boards and management.
Experienced director, Bob Major, talked to us about his governance experiences in the wine and dairy industries, both in NZ and Asia. In particular he gave us an overview of a number of different joint ventures he had been involved in and explained why some were successful, while others were not. His advice was that, in order for a joint venture to be successful, the parties had to: (1) have a common, clear objective; (2) know what they were each bringing to the table; and (3) have mutual trust and respect for each other.
Well known broadcaster, Peter Williams, was guest speaker in Nelson on 15 May. He spoke about how much the media industry has changed over the last 30 years and how he believes internet is the future of media. He reflected on how relationships between business and the media have evolved and his advice for anyone in the public eye was to always tell the truth, in a way that is easy to understand.
John Mendzela was guest speaker at the Nelson Marlborough branch event on 3 April in Nelson. John has spent over 25 years working in central bank governance and management for a wide range of central banks. John gave us an overview of the global financial crisis and its implications for NZ businesses. He stressed that a strategic approach is what matters and in order to make strategic change successful, you need clear directions, agile implementation and to match the right people to outcomes.
28 February - The many roles of a board chairperson
Joe Ferraby is a long standing member of the IoD and has years of experience in chairing companies across a number of different industries. Joe spoke about his experiences as a chairman and in particular the many roles a chairperson has in addition to chairing the board meetings. He advised us that the chairperson was the cornerstone of the board and that to be a good chair we should be well prepared and organised, have a good working relationship with the CEO, deal with any conflicts or issues as early as possible, and stimulate debate in order to get consensus around the table.
Rob Campbell – Don’t tell my mother I’m a company director: Professional director and investor, Rob Campbell, was guest speaker on Tuesday 18 February. He spoke about the pressures on the public reputation of company directors, and the importance of getting the right skills around the board table. Rob challenged us to be the champion of businesses and to focus our effort where it can best contribute to the success of a business.