An Interview with Dr Dean Blomson
Sally Parrish interviews Dr Dean Blomson
Dr Dean Blomson is a highly experienced strategy and transformation advisor and a seasoned professional with a diverse board portfolio career. Dean has a PhD in board governance of mergers and acquisitions and led and co-authored, collaborative research with EY’s Global Centre for Board Matters into Board Governance Models of the Future, thought-provoking research undertaken in 2021.
In this episode Dean shares his thoughts on the disparity between the modern-day dynamic fast-paced ways of working and the traditional approach that boards take towards governance. Why are we still doing things the old ways and what exactly would the new way look like?
Find Dean on Linkedin: https://www.linkedin.com/in/dr-dean-blomson-a51a34/
The Board of the Future Report: https://www.ey.com/en_au/board-matters/board-of-the-future
Click Here to View the Podcast Interview Transcript with Dr Dean Blomson
Dean Blomson Snippet
Generally, we want to do the very best we can with the time available to us. But it's a complete hallucination for us to believe that even as eight or 10 well intentioned, hopefully skilled, constructive directors, that we can stay on top of things. We simply cannot. It's a hallucination. Things are moving very fast. We are dealing with customers who we might never meet, because they're in geographies we can never visit. With suppliers who are dispersed. I call it the great dispersion. How do we really know what they are thinking about us and what they're saying? What opportunities they may be seeing? What risks they may be seeing? We've got dispersed capital. A very, very different world to the world in which boards were designed.
Sally Parrish (00:03):
Dean it’s great to have you on the episode. Thank you so much for joining us today.
Dean Blomson (00:08):
Lovely to be here, Sally, thanks for inviting.
Sally Parrish (00:11):
Let's start, you've got a very impressive, impressive resume here. Tell us a bit about yourself and what you're doing right now.
Dean Blomson (00:20):
Thank you for the compliment. I'm a portfolio career person at this stage of my life. Most of my backgrounds on LinkedIn. And that's interesting, but not necessarily always relevant to what one's doing in the moment, and how one sees oneself.
So, I've got three buckets, I still do strategic advisory work. There's a lot to unpack there, but we won't worry about it now. That includes transformation, advisory and M&A. So there's a consulting bucket, there is a teaching bucket. I teach on two MBA programs, one over here in Australia, in Sydney and one overseas, teach various courses, including corporate strategy, enterprise governance, and a few others.
So that's all in the second bucket. The third bucket is Board Advisory and governance work. So I'm on a board of a large not for profit for many, many years. It's been a passion project. And I'm on a couple of advisory boards, one of which I chair. So that's the portfolio and mix.
Sally Parrish (01:22):
Brilliant. I love the spread that you've got there. Portfolio career and I’m showing my age when I say this, but do you remember when, if you had a gap on your CV meant that you were unemployable, right? But now we're free to move around and be between things and take pauses and try different things. So I love the ways of working now.
And that's probably very much the attraction of Board careers, in that you can have that really stimulating, challenging, influential leadership role, but not have to work 70, 80 hours a week in order to be effective at it. But to say that Board meetings are, one or two hours a month, that's absolutely challenging. What are you noticing about how Board meetings are kind of evolving and the challenges that they're under right now?
Dean Blomson (02:14):
Wonderful question, I'll try and unpack it. So let's start with the pressures that boards are under, perhaps. And I think you're aware of the collaborative research I did with EY to build governance of the future. Now, these observations don't apply to all boards, obviously Sally. So some may see some of these pressures, others may not. But I think this will contextualise some of the pressures they're under.
And there'll be no surprises, I think, to your listeners. In no particular sequence, we're living in what everybody calls this VUCA world - volatile, uncertain, complex and ambiguous. And that means that the Board has to pedal harder to really stay on top of things. Now we can unpack what is on top of things mean. But maybe let's get back to that.
So we’re in this world, where things are far less predictable. Events come at you sometimes incredibly fast, particularly in the world of social media. As a director assume that just because it's a weak signal, doesn't mean it isn't going to happen. Or just because there's little spotfire in the bush out there doesn't mean it's going to be a full fire front, very fast. It's when you think about some of the boards that got blindsided. So these things happen, and unfold very, very fast.
So there's that VUCA. Then there's the volumetric issue. Just the volume of data that's out there. And so that's a processing and capacity issue, which goes to the heart of can you do this job in two days a week? There's obviously a bigger question, which is, in that volumetric question, what is the data that's really salient that’s important? What are the insights the board really needs to receive? So there's a, distillation process that executives and others need to help boards with. But there's still a volumetric issue. So, I'm well aware from my research that there are boards that have 600 page risk committee reports or finance committee reports. And that's even before you get to the main board pack.
Now, you could say that's a failure of the cosec or the executive to write in a concise way. But still, there's a volumetric issue. So that's the second thing for boards.
The third thing is just the agenda is bigger than it ever was. And so we have all sorts of topics that are getting added. I have to say with merit, of course. Being on top of digital and AI and having a position on that, and cyber and having a position on that and diversity and inclusion and making sure it's effective. And on ESG and unpacking all of that.
So all of these things take time and capacity, but they're all coming at directors in different shapes and forms by board. So each board has got its own context. And they've got the bigger question around stakeholder capitalism. All of these stakeholders that are looking at us that have some level of expectation on this, and how do we manage that? How do we understand it? How do we process it? So these are a whole bunch of forces that aren't necessarily going to disappear.
And then the last one is, I think, the demands on transparency and accountability that people want to know, how boards are deciding on certain things. We can only assume that five or 10 years from now, certain decisions made by certain boards may get litigated. Not because it's the wrong decision today, but it turns out in the fullness of time. And so, having a sense that at some point, we're going to be held to account, if not immediately, then in the future for maybe poor decisions we've made. So anyway, there's a long winded answer about these forces, which the essence of, I don't think are dissipating, they're not abating these forces. They are there. And in one shape, or form, they're hitting most boards.
Sally Parrish (06:11):
I just want to reference that report that you've mentioned there. That's the Board of the Future Summary Report that you published in conjunction with Ernie Shang. I'm going to drop a link to that in the show notes for anybody who wants to download that. I strongly suggest that you do because it's some really great information into not just where we are now, but what needs to change.
And I think that's what we're seeing Dean. We're kind of in this cycle at the moment where, a board gets something wrong, that then becomes legislation - boards must not get this thing wrong anymore. That becomes a responsibility on the director. The director takes on that additional responsibility, which means now they want more oversight, more information on that. But there's nothing that's kind of changing the cause of the problem, because what we've done now is overburden that director with more information, so that they're more likely now to drop the ball on the next thing.
So we're just kind of fueling this problem that we have by adding more and more and more information to the board packs. I know that we're seeing things like the gender pay gap, for example, that's going to become something that needs to be reported at board level. Now, what are the boards supposed to do with this information? What's the purpose? What's the intent? Well, the problem is that we have this horrendous gender pay gap in our corporations.
So the legislation should be more aimed at the companies, on what they're doing. But instead, it's falling on the directors to have the awareness and kind of shame them, if you like, into doing the right thing. How do we stop this? How do we stop the board packs getting bigger and bigger and bigger? And the responsibilities and liabilities on the directors getting more and more onerous. Because I'm hearing director saying, the juice ain't worth the squeeze? Do you know, there's just so much falling on them? What's your thoughts around that?
Dean Blomson (08:14):
I’ve got a whole lot of thoughts. And it's a wonderful example when you think about other compliance obligations - scope two, scope three, emissions reporting, etc, which sooner or later, boards are going to be accountable for. So, the weight of expectations and the compliance demands, as you say, are just ramping up.
So if I step back from all of this, I think there are four possible positions that a board could take. Because if you continue this to its logical conclusion, something's going to break, right? Directors have to go full time or the regulators have to step back and say, this is just too much of a burden. You know, Something's gonna break. Or more importantly, what will break is that boards drop the past because they don't report and then there's a whole set of penalties.
So anyway, what are the options really? Well, one is you can say, as directors, we just got to double down. We've got to just try harder, pedal faster, etc. It's a bit like the frog in the pot, right? Just sort of manfully plow on and hope it will be okay, this too shall pass. I don't think it is going to pass. So that's kind of one scenario.
Second one is you say, well, a lot of the stuff doesn't apply to us and we're going to just develop a case to say, we don't need to do this, and we'll drive, explain and comply. I suppose that's the second option and weather the consequence.
The third one is, you say, well, actually, we're spending so much time in compliance that we can't actually do our stewardship stuff. We can't do the strategy stuff. We can't do the board foresight type roles and activities. We just have to just do what we can at a minimum, and maybe therefore, you go back to a minimalist type of approach to governance, that boards say, deliberately, we can't do certain of the stuff. We can only do x. We're going to communicate that to regulators and to our shareholders, but we're just going to have to live with it, because we're not chicken man, right? We can't be everywhere, everywhere. The old chicken man cartoon stuff. The ubiquitous, all seeing, all knowing board, just is hallucination. So maybe there's a movement to a de minimis kind of position, or a minimalist governance position, maybe it's back to the future.
Or I suppose the fourth option, I'm just sort of thinking aloud here, Sally. The fourth option is we say, we have to do the stuff that's legitimate or we're too scared not to , whatever it is. So actually, we've now got to find models, mechanisms, and ways to deal with this expansionist agenda. And how do we deal with that? How do we fundamentally redesign our board operating models of structures, the processes, the skills, the mechanisms, to allow for this very expansive set of demands, by regulators, by society, by other stakeholders to do our very best and so there’s a whole lot in there.
Sally Parrish (11:28):
I love that question. I'm not hearing anybody ask that question. Nobody's asking, how do we redesign what we do? How do we do this stuff more effectively? If we look at Essential Director Update from AICD, They run every year, what's the update? Updates on the latest developments in governance regulations directorship. So just, here's some more shit to land on your plate, right? And now you go figure out how to deal with it. And like you say, double down or ignore it or take the consequences. They're not strategies, right? They're kind of up there with wishing, waiting and hoping.
If we go back to the very raw essence of why does the board exist? Why is the board there? What's the legislation around? What's this fiduciary duty all about? It's to create value for the shareholders or the owners of that business. To create value, that's the essence of the business.
So that's either through creating opportunities, solving problems, mitigating risks, they’re the top three. But if you can't do that because you're so bogged down in the compliance, the board's not effective, right?
And we’re talking about board effectiveness, and there's so many different parts that comes in. Like, how good are we at recording our minutes? How good are we at listening to each other in the boardroom? None of that is going to solve this problem, right? And it's glaringly obvious, to you, to me, and that is that, at board level, we have this massive technological gap.
My info security guys go mad when I say it's a tech gap. But it’s bigger than that. It's information security. But if we look at this massive, massive skills gap, which is around effectively using IT in today's world. So whether that's protection of data, whether that's cyber security, whether that's artificial intelligence, whatever that part is, there's this huge void at board level in that skill set.
And we're saying we need that on boards, because boards are going to be better at protecting data. But actually, we need that on boards for the sake of boards and board governance, right? What could a board do if we could put somebody with that skill set on the board that could approach governance in a different way?
You've got some great ideas around this. What are some of the solutions that are out there for anybody that was looking at how are we going to do this differently? How are we going to be more effective?
Dean Blomson (14:14):
Let me start with the second part and then I'll certainly get on to some mechanisms that may work, again for certain boards in certain circumstances.
So I think your assertion is absolutely spot on. And that is if we just unpack the expectation around not just cyber, but digital transformation, AI, powered transformation etc. As a sweeping generalisation, I think most boards would be saying to the executive teams, what are you doing about this? What are you doing about this and how are you going to respond and give us a position paper and share with us your strategies etc. Now, of course then the extent to which the board can credibly contribute to that debate is I think, at the essence of what you're saying. And I'll come back to that.
I think what bothers me is not just the skills issues. Because to expect a bunch of ex-CEOs, ex CFOs, ex audit partners, ex corporate lawyers, smart as they may be, but to expect them to be au courant on the technology, options, choices, pitfalls, to expect them to reflect properly on that, it's just not going to happen in an effective way.
And even if you've got the one technology guru on the board, what is it that he or she really is a technology guru of? Or there may be an ex CTO or an ex CIO, and they may have put in a SAP system and transformed with that. And maybe they've got some experience of the data warehouse or data analytics tools. But this is such a huge terrain, Sally, you've got to unpack.
So when people say we need to be digitally rich, what are you talking about? Are you talking about machine learning? Are you talking about data and analytics? Are you talking about robotics? You're talking about virtual reality? What aspects of digitally literate are you talking about that's really relevant to you? So you've got to unpack that box.
So I've got two concerns. One is that people I don't think properly unpack that box. And secondly, that this somehow, it seems to me a perspective that this applies to the enterprise, but not to the board. What do I mean by that?
So, you would expect that the CEO and his or her team are thinking about ways to embrace relevant parts of digital and AI to transform the business and they do so well. Well, if you go back to the original assertion I made that the weight of demands on board members are ever increasing. These are part timers. They may be very smart, capable men and women well intentioned, but they're still part timers, and they can't know everything.
So you then said, well, so you should really say to yourself, well, this isn't just a question of how the enterprise adopts AI, or digital, how's the board going to do it? How does the board for example, work with the CEO, and his or her team to say, let's start making real time decision making in the board, not data that went into a board pack six weeks ago, right?
But how do we use real time data effectively? Number one, with a date stamp with the traceability you need to support the decisions you made. But how do we use that? How do we use AI, for example, to reduce our reading load? For example, if we've got, I'm just making this up, if we've got a 500 page audit committee report being prepared. Most of whom would be exported partners or, something similar to that. Instead of checking through and saying, there is an arithmetic error on page 497 or you didn't quite apply the right standard, or there's a footnote here, etc. How could you get AI to vet what's gone into that? Could you find an AI system that actually processes all the data, all the management accounts, all the reports and says, here's the 10 important insights. Now, all of it has to be vetted. You need to know how the algorithm works, so that you can depend on it. But that's not a big stretch to find a standard. So that the audit committee can spend four hours actually talking about, so what? What do we do about this gap in our working capital? What do we do about this pending cliff that we're going to walk into regarding an inadequacy of CapEx or something? That's the real conversation.
And of course, not having spent three, four days before that audit committee meeting, reading the 600 pages, in the hope you'll find something. It's all done. Now, people will start raising their arms saying yes, but, there's an obligation of the directors to read the stuff that's prepared for them. Well, maybe the law needs to catch up with some realities at some point.
So let's have that conversation about, hey how AI can help boards act and behave in different ways. So the human in the loop can actually be effective. So anyway, I want to get off my soapbox on that. But I think that's a more salient conversation perhaps to be had, by the board itself about what are we going to do fundamentally to make ourselves more impactful?
Sally Parrish (20:03):
I just love how we flip this on the head from,how do Non Executive Directors deal with this ever growing workload to how do we change the way that we serve our organisations so that we can be better at this governance thing that we're obligated to do, and free our time up so that we can be more effective in the performance thing. But the owners of, members of this businesses are paying us or not paying us, that's another thing, right? They're not for profit, guys, they're under the same workload, they're just not getting paid for it.
A lot of people think, because it's not for profit, there's no consequence, but we've got people out there not getting paid for their board roles, and their workloads are a burden and they can't do it. That means people are going to stop volunteering, right?
We're gonna lose our, our voluntary directorship base in this country, which is, just so critical to all of the charities and all of the projects and communities that are out there. So something needs to give. And I love that you're turning that around and asking a different question.
Dean Blomson (21:16):
If I may just jump in. There's a lovely quote, I'm not sure if he was the originator of it by Jack Welch, which is “If the rate of change on the outside exceeds the rate of change on the inside, the end is near for the organisation”. And as a board, you have to say to yourself, is the rate of change on the outside, greater than our rate of change as a board? And I think that's a really important thing to ponder on.
Generally, we want to do the very best we can with the time available to us. But it's a complete hallucination for us to believe that even as eight or 10 well intentioned, hopefully skilled, constructive directors, that we can stay on top of things. We simply cannot. It's a hallucination. Things are moving very fast. We are dealing with customers who we might never meet, because they're in geographies we can never visit. With suppliers who are dispersed. I call it the great dispersion. Different parts of the supply chain… How do we really know what they are thinking about us and what they're saying? What opportunities they may be seeing? What risks they may be seeing? We've got dispersed capital. A very, very different world. Obviously, Sally, you'd be very strong in this as well, to the world in which boards were designed.
Information went by train or by steam engine you had just a couple of suppliers. You had patient capital, limited investors who had money. You didn't have any of this great dispersion. And so the big question is for boards is not only how do we get through this? It's not I'm talking about necessarily at the big end of time. You can have small companies that have got complicated business models - using supplies in different geographies, they've got different investors, they've got data in different sources - it's a dispersed business model. How do you keep vigilance over that? How can you possibly? Well, you just say, we got to just trust the management's doing the best job well. Management with the best will in the world can't always do the best job. Do you get the best customer insights you want? Do you rely on the executive to curate that information?
And there's a big argument, a big discussion we could have around bias. One of the common forms of bias is an illusion of superiority, where 80% of people - I don't know whether they're men or women, I've never seen the breakdown, perhaps they're more likely to be men - believe their superior drivers. 80% of directors think their products are superior to those of competitors, but only 8% of the customers say. Are we living with an illusion of superiority that somehow as directors, we are going to get a handle on the stuff that's not going to land us in jail. I think that's a hallucination.
Sally Parrish (24:27):
I love that. If we go back to the beginning of boards, back in the days, all the way back to the East India Company, when we started pulling our funds to back the ships that were going over and trade, that's the root of all this. And the idea of a board was to ensure that the money was divided up fairly, That was the whole idea of it. It was a representation to ensure that everyone got their fair due and then it kind of evolved and we needed like the rubber stampers on it. Are these contracts robust? Are we getting the best deal here? And how can we make more money?
So it's obvious that you needed lawyers and finance people and auditors back then in those days. But if you look at modern business, modern business is about ESG. If you haven't got an ESG policy, a basic foundation for your company, then you haven't got people working for you, and you haven't got people buying your product, right? Because this is the council culture now. We just vote with our feet, we vote with our wallets. We're not interested. So whether you like ESG or not, you are compelled to play in that arena. How many boards have qualified ESG experts on them to guide the organisations? We're living in the information age, this is the age of technology. How many boards have an expert on them with that expertise right?
Another one that we haven't mentioned that is huge, is wellbeing. We have so much more awareness and rightly so, the responsibility for the well being of the people in our organisation and the people that use our products and services. Where is the person on the board that has oversight of that? Where's the customer voice on the board? I speak to a lot of NEDs that say, I am the voice of the customer. And that's great. But they're usually on the board because they also happen to be a lawyer or they happen to be a CFO, as well.
We talked about fit and proper that has never changed, right? You need to be fit and proper to be on the board. But what we haven't done is challenge that definition of what fit and proper is. Because under the legislation, if you're over 18, you haven't been disqualified, you're not bankrupt. So it's basically a lot of negatives, right? You haven't done this, you haven't done that. But I think we just need to expand on what does fit and proper really look like in order to serve modern day businesses today? And I think if you could bring that expertise on the board, and we are seeing this, I'm getting a lot of successful clients from these backgrounds getting onto board. But that's the key, I think, to start the change that we want to see.
Dean Blomson (27:25):
Oh, look, that's a lovely sort of thread to pull on Sally. And I think, the deeper understanding of in the proper part, how do we really know that you are on your game?
Let's go back to the earlier comment you made, one about not for profits and secondly, about how do you provide access to boards of current expertise.
So even with your comment around ESG, of course, just finding somebody in the E space, a guy or girl who is top of their game. In the E space is hard to do, right? Those people, to your point, are not going to be attracted to the liability that comes with being a board director. Number two, they're top of their game. So they're in full time employment somewhere, probably. And they don't necessarily have the capacity to do much. And then of course, the third one is the critical evaluation by a board that says well, which aspects of the E, which aspects of the S, which aspects of the G are we actually going to respond to because we can't do everything. This space, you've got the the sustainability development goals, I think there's 17 or something like that. Not all of them apply to every company, right? Not all. Many companies they may be really interested in biodiversity, but it's not part of their footprint. They don't do anything in that space. So, why even bother with it? Not because we don't care, but just we can't care. We've just got to focus on climate or water quality or something else, right?
So just being laser like and critical in how you unpack the E, the S and the G is really, really important. In fact, I should leave the G foot aside because I think it's a slightly different category.
So firstly, there's a challenge for boards. Secondly, where do we find these men and women and how do we tap them, right? So assuming you've done your unpacking, just like you need to do unpacking of what is digital. Why is there an inclination to say we need these people on the boards. Yes, you need somebody or somebody's on the board, who are critical thinkers, very effective listeners and they’ve got wisdom. But where's the win-win? Where the board needs access to that expertise, but those people don't necessarily want to bring the liability. You've got to think about different models. You've got to think about advisory boards of some kind, or whatever. You have to think about teams that you can tap into, and not just pay a large amount of money to a big name, environmental specialist, or climate change person, but actually teams that you can tap into. What about your internal teams? What about creating, for example, shadow boards for your high talent individuals? What about for the not for profits, putting the word out that says, we don't want you on our board, and we probably don't think you need to be on the board, in the nicest possible way. But if you know a lot about climate change, and you're passionate in about mental health, or about, drug addiction, or whatever the topic is, we've got a wonderful way for you to contribute. And guess what, we only need two hours of your time a month, or whatever it is. And there's not a lot of reading, you can just rock up and we'll ask you questions, or whatever it is, what about those? What I'm saying isn't particularly insightful, or incredibly creative. But, why do boards say, well, we need to find these people, and we can't find them, or we make do with somebody who says, he or she knows a lot about the E part of ESG. But actually, they're dated. They’ve passed the use by date, or in fact, their domain knowledge is too specific. They're biodiversity specialists. But actually, we need a water specialist or whatever, I'm just making it up. But you know what I'm saying.
It's always this, what I've spoken about in my writing, but also the board of the future researchers, we've kind of got a closed model of governance, right?
And that is eight or 10, supposedly, as I say, well-intentioned, smart, capable men and women who are in a meeting, in a boardroom, which is a closed model by in itself, have to pontificate over stuff and come to certain conclusions with it. We know in the laws of biology that when you're dealing with entropy, which is fast rates of change, systems in stasis, and particularly closed systems don't tend to do well in a condition of entropy.
And so how do we go for an open board system, where we've got these nodules or nodes of specialists. There's the, specialist in just the climate change, there’s a specialist just in cyber. They're not on the board. They don't carry any liabilities, but they are there and accessible to us and there may be a mix of outsiders an insiders. Why don't we crowdsourcing some of us? Just asking the question. From people who are currently passionate, they want to contribute. Maybe they get paid, maybe they don't. Like there is a vehicle and I don't see enough of those vehicles from them.
Sally Parrish (33:09):
Yeah, I love that. Because actually, if you have one of everything on the board that causes his own problems, right? If you've got 10 people on the board, all with their own speciality, it's all going to be about my speciality, this illusion of superiority.
No, no, no, Dean, the well being stuff that's critical. That's far more important than the data stuff right now. You just sell up for fight then, right?
I have absolutely loved catching up with you today. I'm just going to reference that report again, because you have talked a lot about what's in that report.
In particular, I'm loving those nodes that you're talking about those different philosophies, those different suggestions for the way that boards can deliver on their governance obligation. They're all in this report. It's free to download. It's the Board of the Future Summary Report, and we will put a link into the show notes today.
Dean, just in closing, I'll just ask you, what would be your top tips for any board that wanted to start to think about how could we do this better?
Dean Blomson (34:18):
I'll answer in two quick ways, and hopefully they're quick. The one is we talked about ESG. And I said the governance is a separate case. So, perhaps the first way that boards can approach this is to say for the G of ESG.
What is sustainable governance for us? What is sustainable governance looked like and it's not basically the mix of directors and are they remunerated in some of the other observable stuff, but have started the negative say, well, it's not sustainable to have these huge packs. It's not sustainable to expect that we could know, effectively, the insights across these 10 or 20 topics. That's simply not sustainable. It's not sustainable for us to be in a position where the work is divvied up by committees. But these are very joined up topics. It's not sustainable for us just be talking compliance rather than strategy and steward to consider it. So you can start in the negative, or you can say, what is sustainability really look like for us if we're going to be sustainable and effective?
The second part is to say, what is our purpose as a board? Go back to your board vision and purpose. And I think you have seen this many times people come onto boards with different expectations of what being a director is. I don't see too many boards where they go back to recalibrate this often to say, let's just check, why are we here?
I say I'm on a board because I want to keep the bastards honest or whatever I say. I want to check that nobody's pulling a fast one with the audit reports. Sally is there, because she actually wants to lead to better decisions and a better world. Now, how do we square that circle to say, collectively we're here because of this. And this is how we're going to judge ourselves at the end of the day.
So I think going back to saying, what is your purpose as a board? We talk about corporate purpose. Well come back to your purpose as a board. Maybe then you decide, are we a minimalist board? Are we an expansionist board? And what does that mean? If we're expansionist, how does that operate? Which topics do we pay attention to? Which do we say not, etc. And then there's the vertical conversation. How deep do we go in those topics? I think it's a long winded answer. But it's barely scratching the surface in terms of the way boards need to think about why are they there? And therefore, how does that translate into what they do, what they pay attention to the conversations they have, etc. I think a recalibration is often underestimated exercise for boards.
Sally Parrish (36:54):
Yeah, I love that. And, underpinning that for Non Executive Directors to look within and think about what is my purpose? What's my value proposition? What do I want to bring? And is this an environment where I can continue to do that?
And then I think we would see less of this, same people sticking on the board for decades. I mean, there's a value in that for some organisations, but it does kind of clog up the opportunities for others coming in.
I have so much to unpack there. Dean, thank you so much for joining us today. I've really enjoyed that conversation, really thought provoking. Thank you so much for joining us.
Dean Blomson (37:36):
It was an absolute pleasure. Thank you, Sally.
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