You may be familiar with the Institute of Chartered Secretaries and Administrators, now the Chartered Governance Institute, but did you know there is a West Midlands branch?
In case not, the Institute is the membership body for governance professionals nationally, and it has been active in the West Midlands for just over two years.
Corporate governance has inspired much recent interest. Reports and consultations by the Government, BEIS and regulatory bodies such as the FRC have resulted in new corporate governance codes for listed companies and very large private companies. Emphasis on the importance of culture and purpose will be familiar terms in many if not all of our sectors.
For those working in governance it has been a time of great change and excitement. As governance becomes ever more central to organisational management, practitioners are rewarded by seeing real change and, hopefully, real benefits for stakeholders of businesses including employees, communities, suppliers and consumers.
The members of the West Midlands branch of the CGI have kept up with this innovation.
We have considered cyber crime with the guidance of an ethical hacker.
We have heard from the new wave of governance professionals and how different imperatives drive their desire to work in governance, particularly the emergence of stronger forms of ESG.
We have talked about governance 3.0, the post outcomes-focused world of governance where governance is not about rules leading to predetermined outcomes but about the placing of governance at the heart of structure and strategy.
And, most importantly, the branch has become a thriving and important forum for all West Midlands governance professionals, from all sectors, to come together and exchange ideas.
There are two sessions left in 2020.
On 24 September, the focus is on a governance career and the challenges and opportunities facing governance professionals in the West Midlands. As no such discussion could be held without reference to the ongoing pandemic, this is a chance to take stock of where the profession is and to hear from professionals of various levels of experience about their career journeys.
Building on this, on 10 December the branch will turn to the future. What can governance professionals take forward into the new normal? Which opportunities? How is this best communicated to stakeholders?
We will consider this through the lens of corporate "athleticism" – the idea that building flexibility into a job role (and governance lends itself), allows that individual to exercise a willingness to pick up new skills, outside of the day-to-day, and to disseminate those ideas around their organisation.
From April, an online platform has acted as an intimate forum for the branch's well attended virtual meetings. Add to that a breakout-room function, which allows for groups of 3 or 4 to discuss at a personal level issues raised that are of interest, and it's business as usual. The only downside is that the Christmas mulled wine won't be available until at least 2021.
Information about the branch is available here; see the "upcoming events" tab for registration.