Reflections from INSEAD

This week I was in Singapore as a member of the WOB contingent attending session one of the INSEAD International Directors Program. The group of 40 or so was extremely diverse in terms of culture, professional experience and background.
This posed an interesting challenge, including for the Australians, four of whom comprised the WOB contingent; Ruth Medd, Chair of WOB and Charleys Chocolates, Helen Wiseman, Independent NED and Chair Global Audit and Risk Committee for Bidfood (Bidvest), Ingrid Williams, Chair Wellness and Lifestyles Pty Ltd and Rona Morgan, consultant.
Session one covered governance, value creation, strategy and managing risk and uncertainty. The material was global in outlook, practical, challenging and very entertaining. Exercises were integral to demonstrating the principles espoused. A few highlights:

·      Doing an exercise, in form of a trivia game, that showed decision making biases and don’t rely on the EXPERT!
·      An exercise to show the benefits of diversity in teams. Stranded in the Arctic the team had to choose how to survive. Unfortunately, Ruth’s team spent too much time considering the options rather than practical consideration of survival. 
·      Practice at developing a strategy statement – probably one of the most important things we did; given many companies do not have a strategy statement that is fit for purpose.   
A full report will be forthcoming shortly and we are all looking forward to session two in Fontainebleau in August. Next year, we may well be staying home for session two, which would be a respite from the travel. For information, WOB has a global partnership with INSEAD and promotes the IDP to serving and aspiring directors. If is an interesting challenge and could well be something you wish to explore.
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