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New Zealand sport organisation leaders focus on governance

New Zealand sport organisation leaders focus on governance
March 18, 2019

More than 50 National and Regional Sport Organisation and Regional Sport Trust Chairs, Board Members and Chief Executive Officers (CEO) attended a recent Chairs’ Roundtable on ‘The Chair - Chief Executive Officer’ Relationship organised by Aktive - Auckland Sport & Recreation (Aktive).

Co-hosted by Aktive and Simpson Grierson and supported by Sport New Zealand, the event included a panel discussion with Liz Coutts ONZM, professional director and President of the NZ Institute of Directors; Steve Tew, Chief Executive of NZ Rugby; and Peter Stubbs, a professional director and commercial lawyer.

Aktive Chief Executive, Dr Sarah Sandley says the Chair - CEO relationship has a significant impact on sport and business governance and culture, stating “the relationship between a Chair and CEO is critical to the success of an organisation and its purpose.

"Our world class panellists offered diverse experience and expertise on this important relationship, as well as practical tips to ensure effective communication and information exchange."

Communication, trust and respect were highlighted by all three panellists as crucial success factors of the Chair - CEO relationship.

Coutts advised “being fully informed of one another’s positions, priorities and concerns, and ensuring a ‘no surprises’ approach strengthens the respective roles and responsibilities.

"An important principle of this is to ensure both the CEO and Chair have clarity in their functions."

Tew echoed this sentiment, adding "the Chair - CEO relationship is the strongest influence on organisational culture. It’s about the people and having the right people on the right seat on the bus."

With more than 20 years’ governance experience, Stubbs highlighted the importance of respecting similarities and differences, explaining "a balanced Chair - CEO relationship includes constructive tension that enables polishing and refinement, complete honesty, confidence and a common view on key relationships."

The question and answer session provided attendees an additional opportunity to further ‘unpack’ the Chair - CEO relationship, with Dr Sandley concluding “led by a stellar panel, this event provided valuable discussion and practical tips to help forge a strong and effective relationship and support organisational growth and success.

"This was illustrated with the whakataukī/proverb that concluded the evening - Ko te kai a te rangatira, he kōrero - the food of chiefs is discussion."

Recent recipient of both the CQ Tick from the Superdiversity Institute and Governance Mark for Sport and Recreation from Sport New Zealand, Aktive launched the Chairs' Roundtable in 2016 to recognise the importance of chairs as leaders in a challenging sector, to help their development, and to connect sport and recreation chairs.

Related Articles

4th March 2019 - Aktive Auckland the first sporting organisation to receive cultural intelligence tick

7th February 2019 - Auckland’s Aktive awarded Governance Mark for Sport and Recreation

28th January 2019 - Aktive Fund boosts opportunities for target populations in Auckland

8th August 2018 - New Zealand Rugby calls meeting to help fans tackle ticket resellers

12th June 2018 - Industry groups back additional $120 million for sport and recreation in Auckland

3rd May 2018 - Industry gains recognition in New Zealand’s Women in Governance Awards

19th March 2018 - Study shows New Zealanders appreciate the Value of Sport

8th March 2018 - New Zealand Football the first NSO to receive Governance Mark

8th November 2017 - Auckland sports sector forum calls for collective advocacy


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