Monday, 01 February 2016

John Brogden AM FAICD photo
John Brogden AM FAICD

    John Brogden highlights the key priorities for the Australian Institute of Company Directors in 2016.

    A year of transformation

    Welcome back to our flagship publication – the Company Director magazine – for 2016.

    We ended 2015 on a positive note with the election of Elizabeth Proust AO FAICD as the new chairman of the Australian Institute of Company Directors (AICD). Elizabeth has extensive experience in management and governance roles in the public sector, business and the community. She succeeds Yasmin Allen FAICD, who was our acting chair for three months, and Michael Smith FAICD, who had been our chair for almost 2.5 years.

    The end of the year also heralded the Federal Government’s National Innovation and Science Agenda, prioritising a key policy concern for the AICD – insolvency law reform and safe harbours for directors.

    The potential of these changes cannot be underestimated. They will change the way we do business in Australia and allow businesses and their directors to take more risk in order to deliver greater innovation.

    As the Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull said, these laws will allow us to embrace the risk of failure as a prerequisite to pursuing the opportunity of innovation, entrepreneurialism and success. As the 26th President of the United States Teddy Roosevelt said (apologies for the 19th century language): “The only man who never makes a mistake is the man who never does anything.”

    If properly implemented, these reforms will refocus our insolvency regime from a business wind-up focus to business recovery. The proposals aren’t as complicated, legalistic or expensive as the famous US Chapter 11 laws, but they broadly seek the same outcome – to preserve the functioning core of a business when it is in difficulty.

    The AICD will be heavily involved in the detail of the legislation when it is released this year.

    We will also be increasing our focus on the national reforms that our Director Sentiment Index – tells us are priorities for the nation’s growth.

    We will support “over-the-horizon” thinking with our think-tank, the Governance Leadership Centre, which conducts and curates research on governance.

    To better reflect the needs of our diverse and varied governance community, we are making some changes in the way we communicate with you. Soon, you will notice a more tailored approach to the emails, articles and research you receive from us, ensuring you receive the most relevant information to you. This might include trends in your industry, news and best practice governance tips and tools to help your business move beyond conformance and towards performance.

    Of course, what we send you is only as good as what we know about you and we encourage you either to login to the online system via our website or to call your local AICD office to update your details.

    In 2016 you will notice a more tailored approach with all the emails, articles and research you receive from us

    Our feature profile in this month’s magazine, David Gonski AC FAICDLife, is one of Australia’s most recognised and respected members of the governance community. He is also a keynote speaker at our inaugural Australian Governance Summit. Held from 3 to 4 March in Melbourne, the summit will be among the largest gatherings of our membership in the history of our organisation. A great opportunity to mingle with and meet your peers, I encourage those of you who have not yet registered to consider doing so.

    We take seriously our role as world leaders in the development of pathways for directors, and those working in governance. We have implemented programs, such as Director Professional Development (DPD), which ensures that the quality of our director and governance community is maintained through a commitment to lifelong learning. This year we have increased the number of cost-free ways for members to accrue DPD units, so please go to our website to ensure you are up-to-date.

    At our core, we are committed to excellence in governance. In 2016, we will step up our focus on transitioning the practice and perception of governance in Australia from conformance to performance. A well-governed organisation will deliver the best outcome to all stakeholders – shareholders, members, clients, consumers and society. You can help us to be part of this transformation.

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