When I arrived at the AICD last year, it was immediately apparent this is a great organisation. I was struck again and again by how much members and staff care about the AICD.

    There was a deep appreciation for the Institute — and aspiration for what it could be. Thanks to the leadership of my predecessor, Angus Armour FAICD, we emerged from COVID-19 a resilient, forward-looking organisation, ready to build on a strong foundation. 

    With an ever more complex governance landscape, rapidly developing technology and a diverse community of directors, staying relevant for our members means continually adapting and reassessing our strategy. 

    We have recently completed a refresh of the AICD’s strategy to evolve what we do and continue to deliver more value for our members. It affirmed our direction to strengthen and grow the AICD. Our purpose “to strengthen society through world-class governance” and mission “to be the independent and trusted voice of governance, building the capability of a community of leaders for the benefit of society” remain the bedrock of everything we do at the AICD. 

    Building on this, our strategic vision is to be the leading platform for directors and governance education.

    “The essence of strategy is deciding what not to do,” according to Harvard Business School economist Michael E Porter. 

    “Growth through quality” is the guiding principle of our refreshed strategy — we will not do everything or take up every idea. This means that we have to focus and simplify our activities. 

    Further, we are not aiming for growth for numbers’ sake, but to make an impact. By making thoughtful choices about where to allocate our resources, we ensure our growth is purposeful and aligned with our vision. 

    There are specific priorities we have landed on to give effect to these themes. When we refer to the AICD as a platform, we see it as a comprehensive and dynamic ecosystem that brings together directors, governance professionals and other relevant stakeholders. As a platform, the AICD serves as a collective voice of good governance. 

    It enables directors to connect and engage with communities of their peers, providing a space for collaboration, knowledge-sharing and networking. Additionally, the platform offers leading governance education, equipping directors with the necessary tools, insights and resources to excel in their roles. 

    The AICD’s platform is designed to foster a sense of community, facilitate learning and empower directors to drive effective governance practices in their organisations. 

    Reflecting the three value drivers of the AICD — membership, education and policy leadership — we have set three ambitious corporate objectives: To lead the director community: By fostering a strong, engaged community, the AICD can facilitate the sharing of best practices, enrich members’ networks and provide robust support to members in their governance roles. 

    To set the global standard in governance education: By setting the global standard, the AICD ensures that its members receive access to the very best in training and professional development, equipping them to lead their organisations to success in a complex and dynamic environment. 

    To advocate for world-class governance: By advocating for world-class governance, the AICD influences policy, promotes the importance of good governance and drives change at the highest levels of business and government. 

    Your engagement is integral to our ability to support you effectively and deliver on these objectives. 

    A crucial part of our strategy is elevating our focus on members — that in turn requires a shift towards an “outside-in” philosophy, placing more emphasis on delivering value to our stakeholders.

    By shifting our perspective and understanding your needs, aspirations and expectations, we can be more relevant to you. That can involve forging stronger connections, enhancing our offerings and ensuring that our efforts are consistently directed towards policies that help you. 

    The journey ahead is exciting as we align our purpose, mission and vision to better serve you, our members, and society at large through your work. I would like to thank the AICD’s talented and hard-working staff for contributing their ideas openly and generously to this strategy refresh, particularly my executive team. 

    I would also like to thank the AICD board for their support and feedback through this process. 

    Finally, thanks to you, the AICD members. Your feedback and advice through my first year at the AICD has been invaluable as I shaped my thinking on the future direction of the organisation. I look forward to many more conversations with you as we deliver this refreshed strategy. 

    This article first appeared under the headline 'Strengthen & Grow' in the July 2023 issue Company Director magazine.

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