An invitation to develop the next generation of governance talent

An invitation to develop the next generation of governance talent

Cooperative Business New Zealand’s members face a unique set of challenges, one being governance. With a mixture of shareholder and independent directors sitting on our boards, it provides a level of complexity, but also great opportunities.

Our members have requested that we extend our service offering to include establishing a Board Observer Programme. The purpose of the programme is to gain hands on experience for up-and-coming directors to ensure they have the right skillset when stepping into governance roles.

Many of our members are members with the Institute of Directors (IOD), which has  a very successful programme (Future Directors) already on offer, and we are delighted to announce that we are partnering with the IOD to extend the delivery of this programme to our members.

Future Directors has seen 73 future directors hosted by 38 boards.  It has host boards that are NZX listed, community, sporting, regional, state sector and SOE’s. However, to date this programme has not been on offer to a significant group of New Zealand businesses that generate a significant proportion of New Zealand’s GDP – cooperatives, mutuals and societies.

Future Directors gives opportunities to those that are new to governance to observe and participate on a board, learn from experienced directors, and benefit from being mentored for a 12 or 18 month term. Sir Stephen Tindall (The Warehouse/Tindall Foundation), Michael Stiassny (past IOD President) and Des Hunt (NZ Shareholders’ Association) founded the programme in 2013 and would welcome the involvement from cooperatives, mutuals and societies that would benefit from tapping into the skills and perspectives of those that think or do differently.

The IOD can help your board with programme structure, a free director vacancy listing to help you find your future director as well as helpful guides, tools and templates. We can also advertise to all or some of 400+ candidates who’ve registered their interest in the programme. Both the IOD and Cooperative Business New Zealand will promote your participation in the programme and get feedback from your future director at the end to see how they found it.

Aside from time and commitment, it does not cost to join the programme.  You can decide to pay a small remuneration to your future director or some boards prefer to contribute to their future director’s professional development by funding attendance at an IOD governance course. As a host, your board is responsible for the search and selection of your future director, ensuring they have a suitable induction and on-boarding, and that they have the support they need to get the most from the learning opportunity.

If you are interested in helping to develop the next generation of governors for New Zealand cooperatives, mutuals and societies; for more information get in touch with Stella Kotrotsos, Programme Manager (IOD), by emailing: