Over the years I have dealt with many Boards in the for-purpose world. I have seen great Boards and I have experienced the impact of some very bad Boards. I have been to many workshops, seminars and conferences where principles of good governance are espoused, shared, and debated. But it is my personal experience and insights, for what they are worth, which are my key focus in this blog. I want to share what I have experienced personally, but also what I have observed and learnt from the experiences of other CEOs in the for-profit space (note: I hope you can accept my use of this term instead of 'not-for-profit' - a term which I feel has lost its relevance in capturing why we exist in the world).

Let me just point out that it is not my intention to breach the confidence of any fellow CEO nor to make comment about any specific Board, CEO or Director. So if you think I am talking about you or your Board, then that is purely coincidental. However, if you are thinking that I am talking about you, then maybe I am just saying something that relates to many Boards and, yes, maybe yours.

I am the CEO at Allevia and the Board here is amazing. I know, what else can I say? But I truly mean it. I feel deeply privileged to work with a such a great group of people who volunteer their time and expertise to make Allevia a great organisation and to contribute to its social impact mission. I thought I had better get that acknowledgement out in the open early, because what the Allevia Board is giving me is a very important hard-stick against which I can measure what I see and hear in other organisations.

In Australia, Boards are increasingly in the spot light, especially given the attention that a range of Royal Commissions have given to governance in both the commercial and for-purpose sectors. In the disability sector we are only just starting our journey into a Royal Commission, but we have had the opportunity to see what has been bought to light in the inquiries into child sexual abuse, the financial sector and the aged care industry. We have heard many stories of great injustices and crimes perpetrated on individuals, families, and communities. We have seen that these injustices and crimes have occurred as the result of the actions of people and institutions, but of relevance here is that these have occurred under the the apparent watchful eye of people who have key responsibilities in ensuring that they did not occur - governing bodies or Boards. I do not think that anyone would argue that we have been and are currently seeing the exposure of a massive failure of governance in our country at many levels.  

In the for-profit sector we have been largely ignored by the regulators but this is all about to change. There is no where to hide in the midst of a Royal Commission, and I am excited to see what is revealed when governance in the third sector comes under the spotlight. I am also hopeful that what is revealed leads to significant and much needed change because the safeguarding of our most vulnerable citizens ultimately depends on it.

Welcome to my first attempt at a Blog and I hope you return to read more on my experiences and musings on this very important topic of governance in the for-profit space. I really just wanted to set the scene at this point and hopefully open up a space for discussion where you can contribute, debate, discuss, object, confirm, and hopefully share with me and others.