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Becoming a responsible director

BY: Frik Landman|10 October 2019
BLOG| Evolving world of work

Being a director on a board is tightly twined with the concept of governance, which has become a buzzword to the extent that one, at times, gets the feeling that it has lost its meaning and impact. That would be a grave mistake for any director or potential director.


The word ‘governance’ encapsulates what is expected of the director as custodian of the trust that the stakeholders (employees, clients, government, providers, society, etc. ) have placed in that company or organisation. Governance is ethos in action. When it becomes tainted all relationships within the universe of that company or organisation become loose at the seams.


It is therefore an imperative that directors, or potential directors, be effective in achieving good governance. This is not only to be understood in its narrow meaning of compliance but also its meaning of performance, a balance that’s has become rather artful.


Good governance is everyone’s responsibility, yet it starts with the board setting the tone and provide the "governance drumbeat" for the organisation. This should convince potential board members to forget, for the moment, the status around being a director, and seriously consider the enormous responsibility. It should remind one to take the step to ensure that you are well-equipped for this role, and stay equipped, as the landscape of the organisation and the idea field of governance are constantly changing.


The director needs to understand the difference between being a manager and being a director. He and she needs to understand:

  1. Accountability is core to being a director who takes proper governance seriously.
  2. Transparency is non-negotiable. A board is not a clandestine meeting. How do we inform or become informed by our universe of stakeholders?
  3. The director does not represent the shareholder or any single party outside or inside the organisation. The director represents the entire stakeholder community of that organisation.
  4. The permanent ethical question is "What kind of organisation do I want to help build with the resources available to us?"


The Effective Directorship online course offered by Stellenbosch Graduate Institute in partnership with FluidRock Academy aims to properly introduce you to this world and role of being a responsible director. If you would like to read the full company press release on this course, please click here


Click here to download the Effective Directorship Course Prospectus.



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