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President’s commentary — Our culture drives our future

Heritage, and its vital place in an organisation’s culture, is something that I am very passionate about. Last month I wrote to you about my pride in being Governance Institute’s President in its 110th year. And for those of you who don’t know me — my day job is as CFO and company secretary of Lionel Samson Sadleirs Group in Western Australia. It is now in its 189th year of existence and is the second oldest (continuously running) family business in Australian history.

These are two extraordinary examples of history and heritage in our young country, and leave a powerful cultural legacy. I want to take that prestige and look at new ways to ensure Governance Institute stays relevant long into the future.

So it was very exciting to visit Sydney for our first board meeting of the year, receive the presidential chains from my predecessor, Warren Baillie, and chart Governance Institute’s strategy for the future.

Warren Baillie presenting president's medal to Rachel Rees

Thank you to all the Sydney staff, some of whom I met for the first time, for being such generous hosts (and Warren, for his amazing work as president last year!).

Our immediate strategic priorities are fourfold: A renewed focus on member engagement and value; strengthening our culture of high performance and service excellence; modernising a number of our internal operations; and developing a new strategic framework for 2020 and beyond, which includes strengthening how we interact with our regional members and state councils.

There is no point in us attempting to take the lead on culture in the market, if we are not the gold standard ourselves internally.

Most importantly, the new strategic framework covers how we engage with members, state councils, partners and our staff. This differs to how it has been done in the past, in that it will be more externally focused with direct feedback loops flowing from all our regions. We want to get everyone involved in our new strategy and our state councils should expect to see Megan Motto in person more than once a year (not including major events such as the Governance and Risk Management Forum and National Conference).

We are not setting our targets low, as you can see. All of these components have a strong cultural basis — because we are Governance Institute. There is no point in us attempting to take the lead on culture in the market, if we are not the gold standard ourselves internally.

We will be undertaking a survey with all our members in Q2 and we want to get your feedback — so please ensure you make your voice heard. Our culture is defined by our membership and we want to ensure that we are advocating for your views in the most effective manner possible.

As you can see there is a lot going on and in the pipeline, and it has been a stimulating experience working with Megan and the leadership team as we move into the second quarter of 2019. These changes will deliver benefits in how we perform as an organisation and set us up strongly for the future.

Rachel Rees FGIA FCIS
President and Chair

Click the link for a full list of Governance Institute Board and State Council members.

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