This week marks my sixth at Governance Institute of Australia, and I wanted to take this opportunity to share an update about my early days with the association. My initial observations are overwhelmingly positive: we have great staff, a committed board, strong products and a reputation for excellence, transparency and integrity. Working with you, our members and stakeholders, these foundations provide a solid platform for growth and influence into the future.
A few weeks ago, I was fortunate to be able to accompany our President Rachel Rees on a national roadshow where we met with each State Council (with the exception of Perth, which is scheduled for the first week of March). It was great to meet everyone and learn so much about local issues, while also spending time discussing the national strategy with the President.
It’s funny, because at the start of our journey I was on the lookout for the regional differences in focus between each of our councils. Although there are certainly local flavours and nuances to learn, I was struck more by our commonalities. Not only are all of our councils equally passionate, friendly and engaged, but we all share a common pragmatic focus I found truly heartening.
Our members are the lifeblood of our association, and I see our state councils as the Institute’s veins and arteries: they not only pump ideas and information to our membership, but ensure you can pump your feedback and expertise back.
Our members are our eyes, ears, and brain. It is through you that we know what to say, when, and on what issues.
Almost without fail, the question on each of our councils’ lips was ‘how can we assist you more?’
My answer is simple: Our members are our eyes, ears, and brain. It is through you that we know what to say, when, and on what issues. You advise us on who we need to be listening to, and who we in turn need to be influencing. While we are fortunate enough to have professional staff to do the leg work, our members provide the networking and intelligence we need as an organisation to stay relevant in our fast-changing world.
My intent is to develop that relationship with you further: to be even more closely connected to our members and state councils. This is your association and it is my job to ensure we deliver to your expectations.
I have already spotted some areas where I believe we can lift our game: Our responsiveness on some issues has not been as quick or thorough as I would have liked, limiting our voice and influence. There are also some areas of our internal operations that can be streamlined to boost our efficiency and effectiveness as an organisation. There is also an opportunity to modernise and rework some of our offerings. Finally, and most importantly, our brand and profile needs to be raised in the market.
These will be just a few of my key priorities as we move through 2019, and I look forward to hearing your thoughts. I have great confidence that, with the support of our Board, staff and members, we can do even more — particularly when governance is already proving to be the showstopper for 2019.
Finally, we have a few big events coming up over the next few months: our Governance and Risk Management Forums in June, and some changes to National Conference. So save the date for 2-3 September in Sydney, and keep your eyes peeled for more Conference info to follow shortly. I look forward to seeing everyone there — don’t hesitate to pop over to say hi!