The Alternative Board really stands for “The Accountability Board” because that is what your fellow board members do for you – hold you accountable! However, this is not in the traditional sense of Corporate Governance, where Directors have fiduciary duties to the Company. An Advisory Board only has the power of the great ideas that emerge from the group. We ask each advisory member at every meeting to update us on their commitments made at the last meeting. This process of verbalising why you did or not do something to a group of your peers, is a powerful social influencer. We rejoice when members achieve difficult goals or when they take difficult courses of action which was hard for them personally. They get support from the clarity and consistency of views they receive from their peers. Accountability takes many forms as leadership also takes many forms. I have been a proponent of a Mayor elected by the Public for our main cities. Many have argued that the position would be ineffective and costly because the Mayor would not be granted sufficient powers to make an impact. Over a dinner some years ago with the first Mayor of the Greater London area, Ken Livingstone, I queried him on this. He replied; its the position that gives you the power, not the law. You have the position authority to call the right people into the room on the basis of your public support. That authority alone means that those with power are held to account to the court of public opinion and as represented by their elected mayor. Similarly, for business owners, when their social standing in their communities, with their families, with their employees, is represented to their peers, they are being accountable to themselves and those who are important to them. Holding your actions accountable to that mirror is a powerful motivator for making progress. Therefore TAB “The Accountability Board” fits in that sense.
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