Govern Update - 2021 April

How Young Professionals in Governance Benefit from Joining the GOVERN for IMPACT Community 

By: Fiona Burgess

I consider a young governance professional to be anyone new to a profession related to the work of a board of directors – whether that’s sitting on a board, reporting to a board, setting up a new board (perhaps because you’ve started your own organization), consulting and advising on the work of boards, or seeking to influence boards (perhaps as a stakeholder or investor). Boards of directors are sitting atop organizations of all kinds and having an impact on how businesses define success and manage risk and how non-profits effectively create results for their beneficiaries, to give just a couple of examples.
Boards are levers for change in defining the role organizations will play in society – the value they will create for investors, stakeholders and the planet. And for anyone seeking to help boards in their leadership role and adopt methods that effectively steer, monitor and support management, being part of the Govern for Impact community provides you with a wealth of resources.

I have been attending the GOVERN for IMPACT conference since 2013 and each time I have come away with new insights for helping boards do their work with more clarity and passion. As a corporate governance consultant for a big four audit firm, getting these fresh insights each year has been invaluable to me. I have learned about policy-focused approaches to governance which begin with pre-stated criteria for performance which are then methodically monitored. While this may sound simple, the board role in defining results, especially outside of financial results, and limitations to manage risk, is often varied and ad hoc. I’ve learned how boards can navigate the balance between oversight and micro-management, and get a clearer picture of who the board is there to represent, and how they can balance their needs and interests whilst also taking in to account other stakeholders. I am particularly interested in this given recent shifts toward more stakeholder focused approaches to governance in large corporations and the increasingly recognized importance of boards defining purpose and overseeing corporate culture and values. The GOVERN for IMPACT community has consistently provided me with practical perspectives and approaches which put these ideas into action.

As a registered affiliate of GOVERN for IMPACT, I have had the opportunity to participate in a variety of discussion hubs with other members on topics of interest, including a hub for young governance professionals, as well as webinars on timely governance issues throughout the year. I have had access to resources and educational opportunities at discounted rates, and access to discounted conference registration. Young professionals, 35 and under, are offered a great conference rate and the ability to apply for scholarship funding also.

You can read about all the benefits and discounts available to GOVERN for IMPACT affiliates here and the variety of affiliate options here. I hope to meet more young professionals at the next GOVERN for IMPACT’s annual conference June 17-19, 2021. It will be a virtual conference for the second time due to the global pandemic. I also look forward to keeping in contact with young professional affiliates of GOVERN for IMPACT throughout the year. Feel free to contact me if you have any questions about how young professionals in governance benefit from joining the GOVERN for IMPACT community at [email protected].

Please see the GOVERN for IMPACT White Paper on Who Makes Up the Moral Ownership as defined by Policy Governance… being posted in early summer 2021 on the GOVERN for IMPACT website.