DiscoverBoard Shorts Podcast
Board Shorts Podcast

Board Shorts Podcast

Author: Get on Board Australia

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Education and development for new and aspiring company directors and board members.
23 Episodes
The conversation about board diversity generally starts and stops at gender balance. That’s been a wonderful place to start; however, we both recognise that diversity is much more diverse than just gender. 

 This conversation that I had with Amy Bottoms, a Principal of Catalyst Advisors in Seattle, Washington, covered the pros and cons of legislating for gender balance on boards, whether people are still interested in board diversity beyond gender balance, simple ways that a board can start creating a diverse cohort, how do the best boards build, maintain, and leverage diversity around their table; and how diverse candidates can position themselves to get on a board.

 Amy brings 25 years of experience building board of directors and executive leadership teams for innovative life sciences companies.  Prior to joining Catalyst Advisors, she was an Engagement Manager at a leading global executive search firm, where she specialised in recruiting board directors, general management executives and senior commercial and technical leaders across the biopharma, healthcare IT, medical technology and healthcare services sectors. Amy began her career at Microsoft as a Corporate Researcher before entering the executive search industry in 1996 as a Research Associate.
We are ALL in the situation where we are learning to lead through a global pandemic and deep and sudden economic crisis. There is no playbook for us as board members to follow; however, there are likely better ways for us to lead through this current situation and for us, as board members, to continue to add value to our boards. To understand what the best boards and best board members are doing now, I reached out to Julie Garland-McLellan. Julie and I talk about: :: What the best boards are doing right now; what’s on their agenda; and how they’re spending their time. :: What boards can do to support the organisation in the short to medium term future. :: What's on their strategy agenda, and how boards can start looking forward to recovery/what’s next and taking advantage of opportunities that are available. :: Clarifying the short-term changes to insolvent trading liabilities for directors. :: And other interesting observations that Julie has made as she supports boards through the COVID crisis. Resources Julie mentions during our conversation: :: Anti-Fragile by Nassim Nicholas Taleb: :: The Cost of Running Boards [yes, even volunteer boards]:
The key to getting better answers to help solve problems or seize opportunities is to ask better questions. Genuine curiosity is a cornerstone attribute of effective board members and effective boards. But how do we develop our questioning muscle? What makes a great question? What stops us from asking questions? And where do you start when faced with big issues in the boardroom? I sat down with question-asking expert Greg Bustin earlier this year at the international Vistage Chair conference in San Diego to pick his brain about how us as board members can develop and ask better questions in the boardroom. Using Greg’s book ‘That’s a Great Question’ as a conversation starting point, Greg and I talked about: * What makes a great question. * What words to avoid when asking questions. * What is stopping us from asking questions. * The value in slowing down. * Why how you ask a question is just as important as what you ask. * Five questions every organisation should be asking. * Where to start with big decisions in the boardroom. * And a brief history of the question mark. Check out the show notes to download the question grid and connect with Greg:
As board members, we open ourselves up to risk - financial and otherwise. But how do you begin to get your head around exactly what this risk is and how deep it can reach into your and your family’s lives? I look to answer that question, sent in by a listener, who wanted to understand the financial risk she (and by default her family) might be taking on if she accepts a board position. She also wanted to know what the risks are of being sued, and if it’s worth taking out insurance to cover the risks of being on a board? Please note: all information in this - and other episodes of the Board Shorts Podcast - is general in nature. You should seek advice from appropriately qualified specialists to address your specific circumstance.
Kelvin Spiller, author of One Step Ahead: what aspiring leaders and CEOs need to know before, during, and after their first 100 days, shares the leadership model he has developed from his experience across 8 CEO roles and more than 35 board and committee roles, and how you can maximise and leverage your first 100 days in a leadership role. Kelvin's book, One Step Ahead, can be purchased here:
My 10+ years in the boardroom has given me a valuable perspective on board succession planning and board recruitment. I’ve observed that boards in all industries and types of organisations struggle with this. As they say, they can’t ‘find good people’. I actually refuse to believe this. There are plenty of great people looking to join boards, even yours! It turns out that the quality of your board candidates is directly related to the quality of your recruitment activities. Many boards don’t have any board recruitment activities. And they are surprised that they can't find good people... Enough on that for the moment! In this episode of the Board Shorts Podcast I talk further about this topic. I share what I’ve learned over my board career so far and present a model for succession planning that I’ve been developing over the past few years. It is designed to help you and your board understand - and improve - your board succession planning and board recruitment practices. __________ Looking for the sample Director Selection and Induction Process mentioned in the show? Visit for the link to download.
In this episode of the Board Shorts podcast I am joined by David Campbell. David is an expert in risk and crisis management. David has an interesting way of looking at business risk; focusing on the opportunities that business risks present. Dare I say it, David makes talking about risk management fun! In this episode, David covers: - What he sees is the board’s role in risk and crisis management; - How to change your perception of risk management as an advantage; - Where he sees boards get lost and overwhelmed with risk and crisis management; - And, some simple and practical ways that boards can start doing risk management more effectively. David Campbell is the Managing Director of Resilience Planning, a leading provider of risk, emergency, crisis and continuity planning, training, exercising and assurance services. David has over 20 years of experience in this field, and lectures at the University of South Australia. His career in emergency services has helped David to develop his unique perspective on risk, business continuity, and leveraging it for strategic advantage. Contact David Website: Email: LinkedIn:
In this episode we cover the main areas of questioning you will likely experience during your board interview and how best you can prepare for these. We also touch on a few other areas that are recommended you review to prepare any questions to ask the interviewer(s) so that you are *really* sure about joining the board (or not).
BoardShorts Podcast - Diary of a Board Member
This episode of the Board Shorts Podcast is with special guest Merlin McCloy from M2M Risk and Insurance. Merlin and I talked about risk and protection for board members. Now, I know that whenever someone says risk and protection and insurance that your eyes may glaze over! But these are critical areas of importance for all board members on any type of board - for for profit and not for profit. This was an incredibly interesting conversation where I also learned a few things. Before you get into this episode, I must remind you that the information in this podcast is general in nature and that you need to consider your own circumstances and seek expert advice in regards to your - or your board’s - risk and insurance requirements.
Today’s episode is an answer to a question asked by Get on Board Australia community member, Christina. Christina asks “does being on the board of a not for profit differ significantly from a company?” The short answer to this question is yes and no. But that doesn’t exactly tell you much! And the long answer brings in many complexities, circumstantial intricacies, and organisation and board specifics. The answer falls somewhere in the middle and gives you food for thought when considering whether you want to join a not-for-profit board or a corporate board. We discuss the three main areas that people primarily mean and consider when asking the question on how NFP and corporate boards differ.
In this episode, I talk with Liz Savage, a switched on board director who has built - and continues to build - a board portfolio that draws on her successful professional career and builds her future board potential. Liz shares why it’s so vital for aspiring board members to develop strong networks before you even start looking for a board role, why the board diversity conversation needs to expand, the importance of knowing why you want to join a board, and why board service brings her so much joy.
Looking back on her 25+ years of governance experience, Andrea shares her thoughts on community expectations of boards and how that impacts boards, directors, and organisations in the future, how to balance competing interests on a board, getting from an executive career to a board career, the essential skills board members need to develop, and why being a good manager/executive doesn't make you a good board member.
In this episode, we talk with Michelle Pole, company secretary and senior legal counsel at Oz Minerals and a board member of Netball SA. Michelle talks about how a pilates class turned in to a board role, the value of having personal champions, why board members need to have courage, and 3 pieces of advice for you if you’re a new or aspiring board member.
There are a lot of places and people urging and helping you to get on to a board. Some, charging a significant amount of money for it. What I see less emphasis on is the area that needs to first be addressed before anyone embarks on starting or building a board career. And that’s around your awareness of what it truly means to be a company director. All of the duties, responsibilities, accountability, and risk that you undertake by the nature of becoming a director.
This episode of the Board Shorts Podcast steps you through the what, why, and how of corporate governance.
Today’s episode is all about Etiquette in the boardroom: why manners always matter. I’m joined by etiquette expert Alana Lenart. Whether you’re starting out on your board career and wondering how to behave in the boardroom, or if you’re feeling like the board you’re on is behaving badly, and could do with a boost in its team work, today’s episode has some gems for you. Alana and I talk about what etiquette is (and isn’t), what etiquette looks like in the boardroom, the behaviours that you and your board can introduce to create a better culture in the boardroom and across the organisation, being a values-led board, and recruiting for the culture you WANT, not the culture you have.
Wellbeing matters to board members personally and within and throughout the organisations they serve. This episode covers everything from personal wellbeing through to employee wellbeing, looking at ways we can incorporate wellbeing into our own lives and how, as board members, we can embed wellbeing throughout the organisation, making it positively contribute to business outcomes.
In this first edition of Diary of a Board Member, MD of Get on Board Australia Lisa Cook, talks all about frustrations as a board member and what she does to overcome them. I hope this resonates with you and if you have any questions or topics you’d like to hear in future editions, please visit I apologise for the poor sound quality in parts of this podcast; I recorded it while sitting in my car overlooking Henley Beach in Adelaide.
Given that conversations around the board table can get a little heated and some issues can become quite contentious, we have bought Organisational Psychologist Shelley Rogers onto the podcast to talk about the ways in which you can use different strategies and approaches when the conversation gets a little prickly in the boardroom to stop it becoming nasty.
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