A Board needed cut-through to establish alignment of governance and a viable strategy…..


A Board needed cut-through to establish alignment of governance and a viable strategy…..

Situation

The Board of a public company was experiencing dysfunction in its ability to agree on the continued purpose of the organisation, the business model to be adopted and therefore the strategy to be developed and implemented.  This had brought the company to a tipping point on governance, strategic and financial matters.

The Board appointed Flexion to prepare for and facilitate a Board workshop to address these matters with the objective of defining a clear path forward for the Board to recommend to the shareholders and with which to provide direction to the staff.

Solution

With a month between appointment and the Board workshop, Flexion set about working in collaboration with the CEO in defining the agenda for the session.  Flexion set three phases for the workshop:

  1. Establishing the clear context within which the Board’s considerations and decisions would need to be made;
  2. Consideration of viable scenarios for the future path of the company;
  3. The establishment and ‘fleshing out’ of the preferred scenario, application of the Board’s risk appetite, and consideration of obstacles to progress and mitigation strategies.

Flexion provided detailed direction and review of the preparatory work performed by the CEO and his senior team, and established solid ground rules for their participation in presentations at the workshop.  The CEO commented that it was a much more rigorous process than they had ever been through before, and it provided an opportunity for his senior leaders to showcase their skills and to grow from the opportunity to participate with the Board in this way.

Mike Watson conducted the facilitation of the Board workshop which ran for a full day.  It achieved results that exceeded the Board’s expectations and allowed them to provide clear recommendation to the Shareholders and direction to the staff.  The Senior Leaders were brought back into the Board session at the close of the day to be informed of the deliberations and the decisions taken based on their good work.  The workshop presentation and discussion material was left around the room and, during the Board meeting in the room the following day, the staff members were all invited in to view the presentation material produced by the Senior Leaders and to be updated by the Chairman on the path forward.

Comments from Board members were:

All Directors personally signed the letter of recommendation to shareholders, something which before the session, I would not have believed possible.  Glenn Appleyard - Chairman of the Board

I thought that Mike was a brilliant facilitator and managed a very tricky session that might have had some confrontational conversations very well. Principal Advisor Public Data Policy, Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet

Mike's approach to the structure and facilitation of our Strategy workshop exceeded my expectations.  Duncan McIntyre - Assistant Secretary, Broadband Implementation Branch at Department of Communications