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New Insights Into Company Boards

New Insights Into Company Boards

31 August, 2006

"Directors are Like Parsley on Fish - Decorative but Useless"
(Irving Olds, former Chair, Bethlehem Steel)

In an environment where corporate governance experts are trying to explain global failures of some of the world's largest companies, new data has emerged from recent original research.

A board director walks a tightrope - between being supportive of management yet not being a rubber stamp. Of all society's institutions, boards are probably the most closed and therefore are notoriously difficult to study.

However, Dr. Richard Leblanc, award-winning teacher, management consultant, professor, lawyer and board specialist, has produced new insights into the successes and failures of company boards.

Dr. Leblanc maintains a director's behavioural characteristics are of paramount importance - that behaviour behind boardroom doors, and the synergy created between directors will lead to either effective or ineffective governance - and is more important than the structure of the board.

Such psychodemographic behaviour is not readily measured, but its impact on board effectiveness is extremely significant, according to Leblanc's research.

His recent book, "Inside the Boardroom: How Boards Really Work and the Coming Revolution in Corporate Governance" is described as "one of the most important pieces of original research in governance in the last 20 years" and is based on observations of inner workings of corporate boards alongside extensive interviews with nearly two hundred active directors over a five year period.

"It's interesting that possibly the most important factor in good governance - the board as an effective team - is impossible to regulate, difficult to measure but easy to see," says Institute of Directors' President, Rick Bettle.

Dr. Leblanc's research has been endorsed and used by directors, boards, academics, regulators, institutional shareholders, director associations and professional advisors to boards, including law, accounting and director search firms. He has advised directors, executives and academics from the US, UK, Australia, New Zealand, Russia, China, the Caribbean and Mexico.

Dr. Leblanc is guest speaker at the Institute of Directors' annual Chairman's Workshop in Queenstown from 15 th to 17th September. Other speakers include Mr. Bill Falconer, Chairman, Oyster Bay Marlborough Vineyards; Rt. Hon. James Bolger, Chairman, Kiwibank; Dr. Alan Bollard, Governor, Reserve Bank of New Zealand, John Strowger, Barry Brown, John Milne and Craig Boyce, professional directors.

Dr. Leblanc will be available for interview from Friday 15 to Tuesday 19 August:

Saturday 16 September available for live telephone interview from Queenstown from 2pm to 7pm (see contact below)
Sunday 17 September from 1pm to 2pm via telephone or Sunday evening from Wellington hotel from 7pm onwards.
Monday 18 September available for studio interview - either live or pre-rec from 9am until 12 midday, Wellington, or Auckland CBD hotel from 5.30pm.
Tuesday 19 September Auckland from 9am - midday or from 2pm to 5pm.


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