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Regional Governance Award A Great Opportunity For Directors

The Institute of Directors is looking for Otago-Southland region business leaders to put themselves forward for this year’s Emerging Director Award.

The award provides support to people looking to further their career in governance as a director.

Help to develop governance skills

Last year’s winner Dunedin woman Kate Hesson highly recommends people interested in contributing to business and community through governance apply – “if you are wanting to develop your governance skills no matter what your driver is, whether it is to give back to your community by service on a not-for-profit board or committee, or for professional development.”

Kate says she was fortunate as part of the 2019 Award to have had Chartered Fellow of the Institute of Directors Kathy Grant as her mentor for a year, and she met other people through the IoD. “Currently I am Chair of St Bernadette’s School Board or Trustees and a director of the NZ Rock Lobster Industry Council.”

Cutting through existing networks that are barriers for new talent to come through is a challenge, she says.

“To be really good at governance, you need to be able to see the bigger picture and be able to understand a wide variety of topics and relate to all types of people. It is not something you become a guru at overnight, and every board or committee has different dynamics.”

New ideas to the board table

All businesses need to bring new people and new ideas to the board table and the IoD awards process highlights that, says Southland director Nick Hamlin, who is also an independent board member of Motorsport New Zealand. He was runner up in the IoD’s Emerging Director Awards last year and says that opened up new opportunities for him.

“My role as board chair of Football Southland was very much secured via this exposure,” Nick says. “The immediate past president, Jeff Walker, an IoD member, knew who I was, had seen my runner up award and approached me to take over his role which he had held for many years.

“At the moment, between running my own consultancy business and being on the two boards I’m on it’s pretty challenging as we all are suffering from the COVID-19 pandemic. Having to look at how to sustain the businesses, while also trying to look at the future is a challenge. What this has done though has made all three organisations start to think differently about how we deliver services. The IoD provided a range of supporting resources during the pandemic and were quick to adapt their offerings to online delivery for the benefit of members.

“In regards to the future I just like to look out for those director roles where I know I can add value. I don’t do it just to be on a board. The business has to mean something to me, one that I can be passionate about and that I feel I can make a difference in.

“I have always believed that everything you do needs to get you out of bed in the morning and drive you to succeed if it doesn’t it’s time to move onto the next challenge.”

Governance support for directors

The IoD Emerging Director Award is a governance development programme offered by the IoD to support the governance aspirations of its members in the region. The winner receives mentoring from an experienced director, complimentary IoD membership for a year and a contribution towards costs of an IoD governance development course. Applications close on 24 July and the winner will be announced on 3 September 2020.

About the IoD

The IoD is New Zealand’s leading organisation for directors and at the heart of the governance community. We believe in the power of good governance to create a strong, fair and sustainable future powered by best practice governance. Our role is to drive excellence and high standards in governance. We provide governance resources and tools to support and equip our members who lead a range of organisations – listed companies, large private organisations, state and public sector entities, small and medium enterprises, not-for-profit organisations and charities.

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