decision making

Board aspirations turn into a sudden reality

Yesterday morning, I took a phone call from the Chair and 90 minutes later, I was standing in for her by chairing the board of Trustees at our quarterly meeting. Almost before I had time to catch breath, I’d chaired a board meeting with resoundingly positive feedback and now I’ve taken another big step towards my board career aspirations. The role of Vice Chair is often ill-defined and might be considered a superficial title, with or without a clear path…

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Integrating ESG into business strategy

I was talking to someone recently who said that ESG is all about compliance. Environment, Social, Governance have become key factors in business recently but as they’re such broad headings, we could all discover as I did, that we’re talking about different things under the same title. For me, ESG is an opportunity to build organisations that are fit to thrive in the future; to create businesses that work with nature and don’t assume human exceptionalism. I know I’m not…

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Wildflower meadow by Karen Hands

What do we need right now? Diverse thinking and creative solutions…

After all the talk, the hopes and the dreams of a new era after lock-down, we’re back to busy roads and getting on with life. I know it’s not as simple as that for everyone. The anguish of so many lives lost. Huge numbers of people out of work. Parents still working from home without any real certainty about school re-opening in September. The biggest UK recession for a generation declared. Whatever is affecting you right now, my heart goes…

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Lock-down re-think

Whatever circumstances you found yourself in when the Covid-19 curfew came down, I hope you’re coping with the extra stress it entails and that you’re managing to find a little joy in life under lock-down. It’s certainly giving us time to reflect. There’s a lot of talk about never going back to normal once restrictions ease, either because we can’t or because we won’t want to do so. There’s much speculation about what the ‘new normal’ might look like. The…

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“One in six of the women who were elected for the Conservative party in 2017 have stood down [in 2019].”*

Today’s Guardian continues: “There is concern at the number of female MPs, including Nicky Morgan and Amber Rudd, who have cited the extent of the abuse they are subjected to as a reason for their departure.”* Women are stepping down at a younger age and after fewer years serving as an MP than their male counterparts, despite years of encouragement to stand for parliament and improve the gender balance. And so the pattern continues… Women entering traditionally male professions give…

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The bilberry dilemma

Not long back from holiday in the Lake District, I’ve been looking back through photos from some of my walks. This one from Lingmoor Fell reminds me not only of the fabulous views and soft, fresh air from what feels like the top of the world, but also of a momentary insight into human nature. Let me explain. As with so many English hills, you get to the summit only to see another peak across the bog which is even…

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Why it matters that women stand up and speak out – and why it’s still so hard to do

Differences of opinion can make the job of managing more difficult, but it’s the way to reach better decisions. For some people, steering a path that takes every opinion into account is the whole point of managing: the challenge that makes the job worthwhile. Life would be boring if we all thought the same way. So businesses that lack diversity also limit the scope of their decision-making. If women are among your customers, it would seem especially foolish to exclude…

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