This week I participated with the Registrar in a two day Course Update of the five day intensive Company Directors Course of the Australian Institute of Company Directors (AICD) which I undertook in 2007.
The Course Update was excellent and despite the usual last minute angst: “How can I find the time to do this training when there is so much to do?” the need for ongoing professional development thankfully won out and I attended the course.
Some reflections based on both courses: I find the particularity of the role of a company director both enlightening and challenging. Most of the ministry situations I have found myself in have required entrepreneurial leadership built on strong interpersonal relationships and a free-wheeling spirit that in retrospect has fallen within appropriate limits more by intuition than a trained mentality of compliance. God has been wonderfully gracious!
Although the legal framework presented at the Course was initially terrifying and indeed almost paralyzing, light broke through when the Judeo-Christian concept of faithfulness in the form of fiduciary relationships entered the Board Room as a centralizing key to the role of the director.
Faithfulness lies at the heart of Christian discipleship: God’s faithfulness to us and our response to the faithfulness of God. The faithful God calls a people to be faithful to Him and to join in God’s purposes in the world.
Thus “loyalty and good faith”: to action good faith in the best interests of the company for a proper purpose, avoiding conflicts of interest and misuse of position, all resonate with the great Shema, “Hear O Israel, the Lord our God, the Lord is one” and continues with the duty of total devotion to this One God; “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and all your soul, and with all your might.” [Deuteronomy 6:4-6]
Our duty is to act with care and diligence and in the interests of the company for a proper purpose. “Faith and works” at the Company Directors Course – Praise the Lord!
Emphasis was also placed on the alignment of the Board and Staff in the development of a strategy that will deliver visions of, “a healthy church … transforming life” (Anglican Church Tasmania) and “Our vision for every child, life in all its fullness. Our prayer for every heart, the will to make it so.” (World Vision Australia)
The length of tenure of directors was raised amidst the vexed issue of the polar organizational dangers of the loss of corporate memory along with director inexperience versus board fossilization. I am of the opinion that the answer to leaders’ length of tenure is not found in the number of years served but in the director’s capacity in skill, dedication and availability. In other words, performance review with ongoing professional development and conversations of loving integrity. The three key words: Review. Review. Review.
Directors’ responsibilities, board health, governance, risk appetite, strategy, implementation and monitoring amidst the necessities of internal and external audits and the wrongly construed apposition of board/staff trust and audit yet the heart to build with clarity, collaboration and celebration – all make for a lexicon and life of fulfillment and adventure as an organization engages people to fulfill its purposes.
The Company Directors Course challenged participants to step up to the privilege of faithfully fulfilling the mission of our company directorships with diligence and care.
This challenge has a familiar ring. A Nazarene by the name of Jesus Christ said, to the person who is given much, much will be demanded and the fields are ripe for harvest – the harvest is plentiful but the laborers are few – go therefore…
The AICD Course and Update helped equip this disciple to go therefore and I thank the Anglican Church of Tasmania and World Vision Australia for this opportunity to grow.