Some three weeks have now passed since the Institute of Directors' Annual Conference was held at the salubrious Langham Hotel in Auckland. I attended this year for the first time, and did so with an open mind having heard mixed reports about previous editions. Some 450 experienced and aspiring directors, media, consultants and Institute staff attended the one-and-a-half day event.
Some general observations, in no particular order:
Overall, the mood of the conference seemed to be upbeat. However, I came away with mixed feelings. Apart from Drs Ferguson and Cherrington, the conference delivered little in the way of critical analysis or case study examples to help directors do their job better. Similar conferences that I've attended overseas make learning a priority. They schedule research streams (peer-reviewed papers discussing emerging trends); plenary panel discussions; 'live' case studies; and, half-day highly interactive workshops on sector- and subject-specific topics of direct relevance to smaller groups of directors. The ICGN Annual Conference stands out as a great example. I hope the organisers see fit to consider 'bulking up' the conference programme in the future, both to broaden the appeal of the conference and to deliver additional value to the delegates—especially directors of smaller entities. The Institute should also consider scheduling its Annual Meeting within the conference programme, to ensure higher levels of participation. I for one would make attendance a priority if these elements are added.
Thoughts on corporate governance, strategy and effective board practice; our place in the world; and, other things that catch my attention.