CEO Memo: Taking some summer downtime to get your office house — and personal house — in order

As 2020 draws to a close many of us will be looking to the new year with a sense of hope and renewal, potentially still with a dash of apprehension mixed in as we worry about what other challenges may be in store.

But as 2020 has shown our society is, to a great extent, hugely resilient. We’ve pushed through, done our best, and in many cases excelled under the added pressure.

But all of the ‘pivoting’ this year hasn’t exactly been easy and many of us may also be feeling that the level of energy required to operate under such pressure is not sustainable. And for good reason. We all need some downtime: a chance to rest, refresh and reset.

I hope that all our members will have that opportunity over the summer holiday season to do just that.

A key challenge next year will continue to be resilience.


In 2021 the only thing we can be sure about is we are not sure what will happen. We will need to be ready to be adaptive and focused on opportunity as well as risk. 

And to do this, we need to be able to start the new year with the right mindset and energy.

As I outlined recently in a feature piece about the key governance and risk management challenges for 2021, my top tip is to use the summer break to get your ‘work house’ (risk registers, key plans, budgets etc) in place.

But also, we need to take some time to get our ‘personal house’ in order. This means nurturing our mind, relationships and health so we are in the right head space to lead effectively.

I am personally looking forward to spending some time with my family, taking a little time out, and start gearing up for the new year — whatever it may bring!

As this is the last edition of Governance Directions for 2020, I’d like to take this opportunity to thank you for being a member of Governance Institute. We love to hear from you, to see you at our events and courses (face to face or virtually) and always value feedback and the great conversations we have.

We are already devising some exciting plans for the new year and can’t wait to share these with you (you may wish to pencil May in your diaries… stay tuned for more!) But first, here’s to a little summer sunshine.

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