From red flags to resilience: How the Boardroom School helped Karen Jaques move on


Signing up for WOB’s The Boardroom School program led to real, practical outcomes for Queensland director Karen Jaques. 


“Doing the course really helped me make some very clear decisions,” said Queensland-based director Karen who attended the nine-week course. “It also gave me some tools and some tips and some strategies that I could use while I was on my board, which I did apply during the course.”

Hear Karen here

The Boardroom School is a program designed to build your knowledge and confidence to become an effective director and develop a kitbag of practical governance skills in this eight-week virtual program. The program is presented by experienced Chair and non-executive director, Margot Foster OAM OLY. 

Karen said she found the program collegiate and safe. “The course provided an environment where I was very comfortable talking about a couple of very specific issues I was having and I was able to make a decision and overcome them, step past them and move on with my life.

Karen said while all participants were on the course for different reasons, she was looking for direction and guidance in relation to taking the next step in her board journey.

“I was on a board at the time and one of the reasons that I actually joined the program is that there were some aspects of the governance of that board that weren't sitting very well with me,” said Karen.

By the end of the course she had made two decisions - one was to leave the board she was on and the other was to only look at paid board roles in the future. 

“There were far too many red flags in the end for me to remain on that board, so I have since left and that was one of the best decisions that I had made… Once I made that decision, I had more time to actually better pursue other opportunities.”

Karen said what she also liked about the course is that it discusses ‘real life’ issues not just theory.  “Theory is wonderful, but real life is a completely different animal. We discussed real life situations that other people have faced on boards and what is actually going on and relevant for today such as the growing accountability of directors.”

“One of the great aspects of the course is because we actually had a week in between, you could digest what you'd learnt, you could go and apply it, and it allowed time to reflect on various aspects of why every individual participant was at the course.”

She said the program also taught her about resilience. “ I also learnt a lot about toughening up on a board and that the world is not black and white. You can have all the governance theory in the world, it doesn't mean that something is purely right or purely wrong. It is very much a whole lot of shades of risk and if you can manage that risk, then that is okay.”

“If you're interested in being a director, be a good director, learn what you can… This course was wonderful.”

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