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Governance Institute’s 2023 National roadshow reflects on the nature of individual and collective leadership

Panel at QLD Governance and Risk Management Forum.

At a time when transparency and disclosure are on top of regulator and stakeholder agendas, board and executive accountability as a collective and as individuals is in the spotlight.

As our Governance and Risk Management roadshow travels around the country, audiences have heard firsthand from key leaders across industries as to how they have developed the knowledge and skills to help them tackle challenges and develop resilience in a constantly changing world.

GRMF speakers.

In Perth, Rebecca Tomkinson, CEO of the Chamber of Minerals and Energy of Western Australia reflected on her own personal meaning of leadership, with an inspiring message to kick off the forum:

‘That country kid, who truly wants to make the world a better place. To make sure that everybody who wants to, truly has the opportunity for participation. That regardless of what you bring to the table, you know that it is valued. And that you know that there is a place for you on that table.’

Issues specific to WA and the state of the economy were examined by Professor Alan Duncan, Director of the Bankwest Curtin Economics Centre (BCEC). He spoke about the cost-of-living crisis and implications for low-income and vulnerable groups.

‘The challenge when it comes to skills shortages or housing shortages is that it is not just about importing new labour or building new houses. It is also about the more efficient utilisation of existing skills and existing housing stock. That tends to be a part of the story that has been missed.’

At our Adelaide forum, attendees heard how organisations manage emerging risk is key, receiving valuable insights from speakers such as Zoe Joyce, Risk and Compliance Manager, Adelaide Airports. Joining a panel discussion Ms Joyce said,

‘Your organisation demonstrates that you can be on the front foot and then be positioned to turn an emerging risk into a competitive advantage if you are proactive.’

Examples of leadership and resilience were also demonstrated by speakers such as ‘Last Man Standing’ Olympic Champion Steven Bradbury. Mr Bradbury told the audience how he dealt with adversity and drew comparisons between his own story and the importance of having the right frameworks in place to mitigate risks.

Panellists were then invited by Bradbury to partake in a speed skating re-enactment, crouching into positions in front of an amused audience.

Steven Bradbury leads a demonstration at SA GRMF.

Ultra Marathoner Jacqui Bell also inspired attendees at the Brisbane forum with accounts of her first desert ultra-marathon. She provided a glimpse of what motivates her saying,

‘in my life I don’t want to be watching things happen. I want to make them happen’.

As with any strong leadership model, Jacqui emphasised the importance of others in achieving goals and quoted an African proverb.

‘You can go fast alone … you can go far together.’

This theme resonated throughout the other sessions, with discussions focused on the influence of others (stakeholders and boards) in defining an organisation’s direction and pace of change.

Non-Executive Director of New Hope Group, Steven Boulton emphasised that the number – and more importantly, the influence – of stakeholders is growing, while Collins Foods Co Sec Fran Finucan highlighted the experience of boards in an organisation’s decision-making as:

‘a collective coach to help the executive team.’

Issues around cybersecurity and artificial intelligence were also examined at the Brisbane event.

Daniel Rowe, CDO of CSIRO Publishing, discussed the need for businesses to fully understand and prepare for potential crises saying,

‘innovation and digital transformation incurs risk…we are increasingly reliant on AI, but it is not infallible.’

Senior Governance Advisor for CBA, Margo MacGillivray, also stressed that:

‘organisations need really robust systems and processes around cyber protection, but also need to be able to prove that this was the case.’

Driving home this key message was Director of Queensland Government Cyber Defence Centre, Chris Polkinghorne:

‘timely cyber incident response is critical so: Rehearse, rehearse, rehearse!’

Our Governance and Risk Management events continues in Sydney on 17-18 May, Melbourne on 26-27 May concluding in Darwin on 20 May.

For more information and to purchase tickets, click here.

Q & A with Governance Institute

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