Clive had the privilege of speaking with Kerry in late March 2010. They covered a number of governance issues, and here are Kerry's thoughts.
From a New Zealand perspective, but also with an eye on the US and UK, and to a lesser extent Australia, for me the overriding issue is that boards and Directors are not providing consistently strong leadership that adds value to businesses.
Underneath that I think that there are three specific issues. Firstly, there is a real shortage of directors with a strong business background. These are the sort of people who have been senior executives or chief executives. They understand strategy and leadership in the broadest sense of the word, and they can lead people and organizations. They have been well trained to make decisions and understand how business decisions are made. Critically, they know about sustained business improvement and creating high performance companies – how to lead people and to use systems to increase productivity. So, if you are trying to recruit directors now in New Zealand, there is a very limited pool of people who have that real depth of business background. There are a lot of people who want to be directors and who are trained in accounting, law and other professions, but there is an increasing shortage of people with the real depth of business experience that is required.