Video | Agriculture | Confidence | Economy | Energy | Employment | Finance | Media | Property | RBNZ | Science | SOEs | Tax | Technology | Telecoms | Tourism | Transport | Search


Experienced Directors Offer Sage Advice In New Guide For Boards Managing A Crisis

Conversations with a dozen experienced New Zealand and Australian chairs, board members and chief executives has revealed five key themes boards should consider in a crisis.

Trust, relationships and agile decision-making figure highly as key considerations when managing crises, say authors Erica Seville and Richard Ball in the newly-published guide, A Board’s Role in a Crisis.

“There is no one instruction manual for a board facing a crisis,” the authors say. “But there is much to learn from past events and some key themes that can help leaders navigate through.”

The two authors from Resilient Organisations interviewed 12 directors, board chairs and CEs. Within the past 10 years each were involved in responses to some of the most significant crises that have occurred in New Zealand including infrastructure failure, market collapse, natural disasters, terrorist attacks through to pandemic responses.

Resilient Organisations specialises in helping organisations ensure they are fit for the future. The new guide is published in partnership with the Institute of Directors and QuakeCoRE.

The guide outlines six key themes for boards to bear in mind when managing crises and aimed to extract lessons learned about the role, behaviours and leadership of boards, and to capture different perspectives on the board’s role in crisis. The directors interviewed spanned a diverse range of sectors including banking, retail, health, electricity, transport, mining, local government and scientific research.

Institute of Directors chief executive Kirsten Patterson says being prepared for a crisis is key.

“Being prepared means constantly updating your knowledge and continually learning. Every crisis is different and there is no one size fits all approach. At the IoD we promote learning, we ask directors to share their experiences with others, and to be open with their knowledge. It is immensely valuable having insight that allows you to know what to consider. Then adapt flexibly to the situation you face. This report is another great addition to the toolkit for directors – for any leader in a crisis.”

“We started this project before the global pandemic, and when we reflected that our own Prime Minister had been through three major situations in the space of a few months – a mass shooting, a deadly volcano eruption and the global pandemic,” author Erica Seville says.

“It seems that crises and learnings from them will be forever relevant – to equip leaders for next time. We hope there is not a next time, but that is unrealistic. For us this project and the generosity of those who gave their time to it will hopefully provide useful guidance for boards and leaders generally.”

“Taking time to reflect on a crisis will provide valuable insight and learning not only for your board and organisation but can play an important role in helping other leaders and organisations to be able to focus on what is most important and can make the biggest difference during times of challenge.”

Key findings

The guide says trust and relationships are key

Trust and relationships are crucial and can make or break your recovery from crisis. Open, frequent and proactive communication to all stakeholders including employees is essential. Your values are key. Leaders dealing with a crisis need to be keenly aware of how their own actions can promote or undermine important relationships.

Agile decision-making matters

Rapid, well-considered decisions in an environment of high uncertainty and risk may feel like a tall order but is often critical. Being agile will depend on taking time before a crisis hits to discuss and agree principles that will guide decision making when challenge hits. Thinking about how you want to come out of the crisis will guide your strategic approach and decision-making. Having the right mechanisms in place to harness the collective wisdom of your board and leaders will also make a difference.

Be prepared, coach and guide team, prepare for long haul

Amplifying health and safety, preparing for the long haul, preparation, and guiding the team rather than ‘playing the game’ for them (link to full report) are other themes raised by contributing directors.

  • Resilient Organisations Ltd is a research and consulting group passionate about building future fit organisations ready to adapt and thrive in any environment:
  • QuakeCoRE is a Tertiary Education Commission funded Centre of Research Excellence focused on transforming the earthquake resilience of communities and societies.
  • Institute of Directors in New Zealand is the professional body for directors, is at the heart of the governance community in New Zealand connects, equips and inspires its more than 9,000+ members, to add value across New Zealand business and society.

For more information:

The guide will be available on the IoD website from Friday 3 July 2020.


© Scoop Media

Business Headlines | Sci-Tech Headlines


Contact: Business Drops, New Generation On Hold

New Zealand’s second-largest energy company Contact Energy (‘Contact’) released its full year financial results for the 12 months to 30 June 2020 (‘FY20’) this morning. More>>

Mining: OceanaGold Announces Receipt Of WKP Mining Permit

MELBOURNE, Australia, Aug. 6, 2020 /CNW/ - OceanaGold Corporation (TSX: OGC) (ASX: OGC) (the 'Company') is pleased to announce it has received the mining permit for Wharekirauponga ('WKP') on the North Island of New Zealand. ... More>>


Economy: COVID-19 Lockdown Has Widespread Effects On Labour Market

In the June 2020 quarter, the seasonally adjusted unemployment rate fell to 4.0 percent, down from 4.2 percent last quarter, while underutilisation rose, Stats NZ said today. More>>


NZ Post: New Research By NZ Post Shows Online Shopping Grew 105% In Alert Level 3

New research by NZ Post into how the COVID-19 response has impacted the way Kiwis shop online, shows online shopping increased 105%* when the country moved into Alert Level 3, and may have changed the way Kiwis shop permanently. Online spend peaked ... More>>


Banking: Westpac NZ Lowers Merchant Fees For Small Businesses

Westpac NZ is rolling out a new merchant fee pricing structure that will lead to cost savings for more than 10,000 small and medium Kiwi businesses, and could make contactless transactions more widely available for customers. On 1 September, most ... More>>

REINZ: Million Dollar Plus Property Sales Increase 11.7% Nationally

The number of properties sold around the country for one million dollars or more during the first half (H1) of 2020 increased by 11.7% compared to H1 2019, with 5,426 million-dollar plus properties sold (up from 4,858 in H1 2019) according to the Real ... More>>

Antarctica NZ: Ice-Olation

Antarctica New Zealand is gearing up for a much reduced season on the ice this year and a very different deployment to normal! Before they head to one of the remotest places on the planet, all personnel flying south with the New Zealand programme will ... More>>


QV Valuations: July House Price Index Illustrates Market Resilience

According to the July 2020 QV House Price Index (HPI) results out today , property values recorded a marginal increase, up 0.2% over the month. This is somewhat of a turnaround from June, after the national index edged 0.2% lower. More>>


Property: Queenstown Rents Experience Biggest Drop In Seven Years

Rental prices in the Queenstown-Lakes district saw the biggest annual percentage drop in seven years after falling 28 per cent on June last year, according to the latest Trade Me Rental Price Index. Trade Me Property spokesperson Aaron Clancy said ... More>>

Seismology: The Quiet Earth

As many daily activities came to a halt during lockdown, the Earth itself became quiet, probably quieter than it has been since humans developed the technology to listen in. Seismologists have analysed datasets from more than 300 international ... More>>

RNZ: James Shaw Says Kiwibank, Not Ministers Should Decide On Investors

Climate Change Minister James Shaw says Kiwibank's decision to stop doing business with companies dealing in fossil fuels is the right one. More>>


FMA: Kiwis Confident Financial Markets Will Recover From COVID-19, Plan To Increase Investments

Despite the majority (60%) of investors experiencing losses as a result of COVID-19, the outlook on investing remains positive, according to a Financial Markets Authority (FMA) survey. Most Kiwis (71%) were optimistic that the pandemic will pass eventually ... More>>

FIRST Union: Warehouse Using Covid For Cover As Extensive Restructure Makes Everyone Worse Off

(FIRST Union comments on The Warehouse consultation and proposed restructure) 'Unfortunately the Warehouse have done the disappointing thing and used Covid-19 to justify a bunch of operational business decisions that will leave hundreds of workers without jobs ... More>>