A major reason many members join the AICD is to meet with — and learn from — the thousands of extraordinary directors who are part of this organisation.

    The AICD is nearing 50,000 members. The size and diversity of the AICD membership are what make the Institute strong. AICD members steward organisations from many sectors — public and private companies, not-for-profits and government organisations — and with that bring a breadth of expertise and perspective.

    In my first couple of months at the AICD, I’ve had the privilege of meeting many of you and hearing what your hopes are for your Institute. There are several emerging themes. It has been very clear from each and every person I’ve spoken to that members care deeply about this organisation and its direction. You want the AICD to build on its current success and to be better in the future.

    The AICD continues to be the largest director institute in the world, a testament to the commitment of Australia’s director community to professional development. Members recognise that the AICD’s education programs are world-class and look to the Institute to support their capability-building throughout their career. You want us to continue to evolve our curriculum as new challenges and opportunities emerge for directors.

    Forthright feedback

    In policy, members are passionate about the AICD’s role as the independent and trusted voice for directors and good governance. With a membership this large and diverse, deciding exactly where to set the needle on policy is not an easy task. I have heard forthright opinions from some members that we are overreaching on certain policy issues; from others that we are not going far enough. This feedback from members is part of the process for us to get the balance right. The AICD sets policy in a deliberate manner. We survey members twice-yearly through the Director Sentiment Index, and consult regularly with our committees and division councils. But the AICD membership will always be a broad church with a range of views. And our policymaking would be less robust without those views being surfaced and having some respectful and healthy disagreement.

    A consistent message from members is that you want more opportunities to connect with each other. A major reason many members join the AICD is to meet with — and learn from — the thousands of extraordinary directors who are part of this organisation. It has not been as easy over the past two years for many of us to maintain connections and develop our networks. You want the AICD to focus on rebuilding that sense of community and provide opportunities for senior members to share their insights. We are working on this.

    The AICD is on a digital transformation journey. You are urging us to continue on this path. Members want interactions with the AICD to be more streamlined and user-friendly. We have heard you. There is a talented team at the AICD working to continuously improve the member experience. We want it to be as simple and easy as possible for you to enrol in a course, sign up for a webinar, access resources or track your Director Professional Development. The recently relaunched AICD website is one step along the way.

    My conversations with members have made me even more energised for this role. I have joined a remarkably successful organisation — and one with plenty of opportunity to be even better. Thank you to all those members I have met so far who have given me their honest and direct feedback on the Institute. I look forward to meeting many more of you in the future.

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