Mini governance course with Richard Westlake

Renowned governance expert Richard Westlake is offering BCCM members an exclusive bespoke mini governance course, delivered online and customised to your organisation’s needs.

This brief introductory course serves as a perfect primer for co-operative members who are new to governance or wish to gain insight into what directorship entails. This course is suitable for members considering standing for the board of a co-operative or discretionary risk mutual.

Whether participants possess prior board experience, such as serving on school or community boards, or are entirely new to board roles, this intensive three-hour online course features engaging content delivered in Richard’s lively presentation style. Real-life anecdotes, worked exercises, and regular breaks ensure maximum engagement and value.

The program will include references to your organisation’s specific co-operative structure under the Corporations Act and business model. Additional bespoke content will be included that is relevant to your organisation and industry.

Program objectives

  1. Provide participants with an initial understanding of the purpose and value of governance; the role and main responsibilities of boards and directors; and how an effective board works and makes good decisions.
  2. Highlight the unique features of a co-operative, as well as board-specific issues, including role clarity, co-operative governance, and how to manage the challenges that can arise.
  3. Equip participants with sufficient knowledge and confidence to bring value as a current board member, to prepare them for taking on a role as a director of a co-op, or to support them to decide whether a governance role is something they wish to pursue.

Importantly, participants will gain a clear understanding of the complexities of governing a large corporate entity structured as a co-operative, the baseline skills required for them to ably undertake this role, and the necessary skills and understanding to make informed decisions as a director. Participants will also learn about their legal responsibilities under the relevant laws.

About the facilitator

Richard established his international governance advisory business Westlake Governance Ltd in 2001, with the objective of Building Boards into Leading Teams. He describes his purpose as “MAD2 – to make a difference to people who make a difference”, and works throughout the south-west Pacific and East Asia.

Based mostly in New Zealand, he has delivered governance training programs globally, has been a lead facilitator for the New Zealand Institute of Directors for over 15 years and has worked with Co-operative Business NZ for several years, providing training specifically for co-op directors and potential directors. In addition, he has worked directly with many co- op boards across many sectors, and he has been a regular presenter on corporate governance for the annual Rabobank Australasia Executive Development Program, at Macquarie Graduate School of Management in Sydney.

Richard has over 25 years’ practical experience as a director and board chair, including over ten years personal experience on the boards of three co-operatives. He was the first independent director appointed to the board of the Dairy Goat Co-operative (NZ) Limited, the world’s leading manufacturer and exporter of goat milk infant formula. He also chaired the Organic Dairy Hub Co-op Limited and Co-op Money NZ, supplier of core banking infrastructure and payment systems for the non-bank financial sector and manager of the country’s largest ATM network.

Among other board roles, Richard has chaired a range of other organisations, including two state-owned enterprises, a software and a structural engineering company, Standards New Zealand and the NZ Telecommunications Forum, and he was a founding independent director of state-owned Kiwibank Ltd for its first ten years.

Richard is the author of Guidance for the Directors of Banks, written after the GFC in 2013, for the World Bank’s private sector arm, the International Finance Corporation. In addition, he writes possibly the world’s only blog specifically aimed at board chairs and experienced directors, “Chairing – for the rest of us”.




Express your interest

Find out more about this bespoke mini governance course, delivered online and customised to your organisation’s needs.

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