18. Didier Cossin on why governance is the key driver of organizational performance

December 16, 2020

Didier Cossin is the founder and director of IMD Global Board Center based in Switzerland, where he works with owners, boards, and senior leaders to maximize organizational performance using strategy, best-in-class decision-making and enhancing board culture and governance best practices. In this episode he talks about creating a high performance board thru enhancing board culture, fostering constructive dissent and focusing on governance best practices.

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Links

High Performance Boards – Amazon Link to Didier’s Book

Didier Cossin’s Bio

Didier Cossin’s LinkedIn Page

Quotes

Governance has been the key driver of performance in the markets and for organizations and the way I define governance, which I think is all encompassing, is the art of decision-making at the top of organizations.

Constructive dissent is pivotal in the high functioning board. Dialectic is the meeting of well-informed great minds that through a dialogue, builds up towards a better decision and thus constructive dissent. Yes, dissent, having a different view, but in a constructive way for the organization, bringing the decision to a higher level and whatever we do in governance, it’s about fostering that constructive dissent towards decisions.

When a board is looking for a new member, what should it be looking for to determine that this new member will fit into this structure that it, that he or she will add to the constructive dissent, will add not just to the diversity of opinion, but will be – and I’ll use the term “cultural fit” – with the board.

I like the way you asked your question, because is it the cultural fit or is it enough of a cultural tension? My observation is that competency has less impact on decisions than personality.  Real diversity is going to be painful and you’ve got to figure out the level of pain that somehow is acceptable to drive effective governance. So the dialogue has to remain, but you need enough tension in that dialogue somehow.

I’m a strong believer in meritocracy. We do not have enough meritocracy in boardrooms. And we have many boards that get comfortable with board member, And somehow it’s not very well socially accepted to remove board members.

Is it possible that you have a high performing board, but the company’s not performing well or vice versa?

It’s very hard for me to see a well-organized and highly performing board in an underperforming organization. I haven’t seen that.

Risk work is essential to good board work

Big Ideas/Thoughts

What makes a great board?

Several items. Skills and competencies, dedication from the board members, the level of caring for the organization, the level of passion, the level of commitment because we are human beings and part of our human quality is that level of commitment.

The second one is what do people pay attention to? Do you have a board that focuses on what matters to the organization?

And diversity, but in a deep way: diversity of perspectives, which of course is fostered by gender diversity and by ethnic diversity and by culture diversity, but truly should lead to a diversity of perspectives in order to foster that constructive dissent that is at the heart at the very heart of the governance principle.

I was quoted in a famous financial newspaper for saying that 90% of boards are failing. I think it’s improving a bit because people have more awareness now and in general I see better boards. But the state of health of boards is still not great, but it is improving.  When I say failing, I mean they are not fulfilling their fiduciary responsibility to the organization.

Transcript

[00:00:00]Joe: [00:00:00]  Hello and welcome to On Board: A deep look at driving business success. Hi, I’m Joe Ayoub and I’m here with my co-host Raza Shaikh. On Boards is about boards of directors and advisors and all aspects of board governance. Twice a month, this is the place to learn about one of the most critically important aspects of any company or organization: its board of directors or advisors.

Raza: [00:00:32] Joe and I speak with a wide range of guests and talk about what makes great boards great or makes a board unsuccessful. What it takes to be a valuable member and how to make your board one of the most valuable assets of your company.

Joe: [00:00:51] Our guest today is Didier Cossin, the founder and director of IMD Global Board Center based in Switzerland, where he works with [00:01:00] owners, boards, and senior leaders to enhance organizational performance using strategy, best-in-class decision-making and enhancing board culture and governance best practices. Among other clients, he has worked with sovereign wealth funds, central banks, supernational organizations, financial institutions, and funds throughout Europe, Asia, the Americas, Africa, and the Middle East.

Raza: [00:01:33] Professor Cossin is the author of several books, including his most recent, which is “High Performance Boards: Improving and Energizing your Governance”. It is a comprehensive manual for attaining best-in-class governance.

Joe: [00:01:49] Welcome Didier. It’s great to have you as our guest today

Didier: [00:01:52] Hey, it’s a real pleasure to be with you.

Joe: [00:01:54] And you’re joining from Switzerland so we appreciate you staying up for this and being with [00:02:00] us at this hour. Maybe skipping dinner or making dinner later today.

 I know that you believe that governance is a big driver of performance as do both Raza and I, so let’s look at that and  I’ll pose two questions. The first is what is governance? And the second is how do you measure performance?

Didier: [00:02:20] Yeah. Fantastic. yeah, so, very true. Joe. Governance has been the key driver of performance in the markets and for organizations and the way I define governance, which I think is all encompassing, is the art of decision-making at the top of organizations. And this is truly what the board, in the sense of strategy decision, or picking the CEO or, or, you know, looking at the risks, it’s really, you know, this art of making the right decisions.

And when I look at [00:03:00] performance, of course, there is a, you know, is a classical view, right? Looking at financial performance, financial markets, stock price, and here, since the beginning of the year, the 20% better governed of the S&P 500 have added 17% today, 17% of performance to the S&P 500. And so you can see immediately the alpha, as we say, the performance such driven there, but I work with very different types of organizations as well. I work with the Red Cross, I work with UNICEF, or I work with central banks where clearly, you know, the performance is not the same thing and it pertains to what I would call organizational health and the ability of the organization to fulfill its mission and governance throughout our system is the key driver of performance [00:04:00] in that sense as well.

Joe: [00:04:01] So, that’s a pretty significant alpha for those companies that are publicly traded. That is a significant difference if it’s driven primarily or even exclusively by good governance. I mean, that is  it’s pretty significant. What are the things that you look at that determine what a great board is? What are the attributes you would identify in trying to determine which companies have those boards and where we would expect that better performance.

Didier: [00:04:30] And you see in my view of governance and so on the, I should tell you our listeners, right? Most of my work is being in a one-on-one situation with a board.  I’m like a board doctor, right. I’m coming with a board and, I’m looking at where there is pain, whereas is health and how to foster that health further.

From that angle,  I’m not going to define governance like the financial guys do by number of independent [00:05:00] directors, size of the board CEO-Chair separation, gender diversity of this kind of mechanics. These mechanics are driven by what drives fundamentally governance and maybe we could start with values. A sense of accountability and responsibility of the individuals involved, the long term view, right? Thinking about the next generation, the agility, but all of these become quickly too complex to observe, to foster and so I’ve come to my own process of clinically looking at governance. When I work with the board, how can I assess in 10, 15 minutes? Right? What works well, what doesn’t work well, and I use a model which I described in extenso in the book you’ve mentioned before. Four pillars of governance house, which I found is, [00:06:00] quite systematic across culture, works well in the United States. I’ve used it quite a bit in the US, but it does work in Singapore. It even works for state-owned organizations in China. So I tell you, it goes all ranges.

Joe: [00:06:17] Cuts across all cultures. So, what about the people, obviously in putting together the culture that you’re describing, it, there must be things you’re looking for, or you would advise your clients to look for when it’s thinking about board composition. It’s not just skills, it’s not just experience there, there are other attributes that you must be obviously weighing pretty heavily. What are they?

Didier: [00:06:46] Yeah. So, I mean, at first you’re right. We still need to have the skills and the competencies. Right. We should not discount that, because from time to time, you see boards without the competencies and that’s of course basket cases. Right? So first, you know, [00:07:00] the basics, so the, the skills and the skill mapping.

Joe: [00:07:03] Yeah. It’s a given, right.

Didier: [00:07:04] That’s right. That’s right. But then I figured out there are three other dimensions that I pay a lot of attention to.

One is simply the dedication from the board members. You know,  the level of caring for the organization, the level of passion, the level of commitment because we are human beings and part of our human quality is that level of commitment. The second one is what do people pay attention to? I see great boards that somehow are being drifted into looking only at the past, for example, only looking at regulatory issues. So I call it focused. Do you have a board that focuses on what matters to the organization? And the third is really  diversity, but  in a deep way, diversity of [00:08:00] perspectives, which of course is fostered by gender diversity and by ethnic diversity and by culture diversity, but truly should lead to a diversity of perspectives in order to foster that constructive dissent that is at the heart at the very heart of the governance principle.

Joe: [00:08:25] Talk to us a little bit about constructive dissent. I know that you think that that is pivotal in the high functioning board.

Didier: [00:08:33] Yeah. You see when t when you’re you’re tackling the most complex decisions in life – it can be a larger acquisition. It can be, simply, you know, an employee policy, when you’re tackling these decisions that have real impact, there are three ways to access the truth. One is, one individual that [00:09:00] knows it, right. and goes through rhetoric to express it. This is rare and arguably does not happen anymore with the complexity of the world. You know, technology complexity, social complexity, that we are living with these days. The second way to access the truth is scientific. Having a proof, right, which, in most business cases, even in acquisitions does not happen, right. Because you may have your discounted cash flow . But it’s still war to make, you know, the culture of the combined entity.  So you’re, you’re also stuck there.

And so we are left with the third one, right? Which is dialectic. Dialectic is the meeting of great minds of well-informed great minds that through a dialogue, build up towards a better decision and thus [00:10:00] constructive dissent. Yes, dissent, having a different view, but in a constructive way for the organization, bringing the decision to a higher level and whatever we do in governance, it’s about fostering that constructive dissent towards decisions.

Joe: [00:10:18] So When a board is looking for a new member, what should it be looking for to determine that this new member will fit into this structure that it, that he or she will add to the constructive dissent, will add not just to the diversity of opinion, but will be a, and I’ll use the term “cultural fit” with the board.

Didier: [00:10:42] Yeah, it’s very a great way to ask this question, right? Because typically we start from the skills and we start our, we need to tech guy, right. Or we need a finance guy. Right. And we start from the competencies and I tell you, my observation is that competency has less [00:11:00] impact on decisions than personality, huh? You take a, you take a conservative tech guy, right. And that tech guy will not drive innovation. You get to nothing to experience type of finance guy and he may actually, or she may actually lead towards innovation even in tech. And so personality of the board members I even do now mapping, I use a tool called Neo, the big five personality traits, plenty of psychometrics alternatives. I like Neo because it’s scientific, it’s not a consultant type of thing, but, you know, and the best Chairs do that naturally, right? Because they understand the personalities even better than whatever psychometric is going to give to you. Right. They figure out and I like the way you asked your question, because is it the cultural fit or is it enough of a cultural [00:12:00] tension? That you actually create a new culture that’s a bit more open than a bit wider, right? Hence the role of true diversity because true diversity is painful. You know, whoever say he or she is comfortable with diversity. Right. It’s misreading it. That’s not true. Diversity. Right? Go and talk to a Taliban in Afghanistan and you won’t be comfortable, right. That’s basically all right. That’s real diversity, but maybe you don’t want that one on the board. Right? You have to pick your diversity, but you see what I’m saying? Real diversity is going to be painful and you’ve got to figure out the level of pain that somehow it’s acceptable to drive an effective governance with it. So the dialogue has to remain, right, but you need enough tension in that dialogue somehow.

Joe: [00:12:53] How often should boards be off-boarding and finding new board members to add to the dynamic [00:13:00] of the group?

Didier: [00:13:00] Yeah, it’s an intriguing question as well. First I’m a strong believer in meritocracy. We do not have enough meritocracy in boardrooms. And we have many boards that get comfortable with a board members that get comfortable. And somehow it’s not very well socially accepted to remove board members. I was discussing that with a Chair of a $250 Billion pharma company was telling me that he has figured out, his most important for is to be able to let board members go elegantly, right. To find the way right. For them to go.

Joe: [00:13:46] That’s not easy.

Didier: [00:13:48] It’s not easy. I have a chair, a smart man who’s at the beginning has announced that one board member would leave every year. And that’s, you know, eight board [00:14:00] members. It’s still a tenure of eight years. Right. But Hey, it’s based on meritocracy, but we know one of us leaves every year and that’s a renewal.

Fundamentally. Right? Fundamentally, we need renewal. We need renewal because the world is transforming, right? Because the new generations are seeing the world differently as well. and, and gender diversity has been a way to perform renewal, a bit of age diversity as well.  And then how you figure it out, depends a bit on the social system your organization is in, but yes, constant renewal is a good thing, you need, of course, a bit of stability, you, you need the historical knowledge of the organization as well. Right? to be fair, I have an organization, an international organization where board members had maximum tenure of two years and that’s terrible as well.

Joe: [00:14:56] Oh, thats crazy.

Didier: [00:14:56] Uh, in the corp… it is crazy, [00:15:00] buthtwo years, and this was that was very unhealthy. But in the corporate world, we tend to hang on for too long. I even had a lady that the chair of one of the largest Swedish companies, Swedish lady, who has decided that if after five years, she’s not made a difference, it means that she won’t make a difference and she leaves. And typically she doesn’t stay on her boards more than six years. And she says six years is plenty of time. If you haven’t made the change in five years, right. It’s not in the next five years.

Joe: [00:15:33] Yeah. Not many people will do that. That’s

Didier: [00:15:36] That’s right. That’s right.

Raza: [00:15:37] Didier to our original question of tying companies performances to board’s performance. would that be true that, always an effective board means an effective performance or higher performance of the company. Is it possible that you have a high performing board, but the company’s not performing well or vice versa?

[00:16:00] Didier: [00:16:01] It’s hard for me to envision. I can certainly see a company for which the purpose is not to maximize financial performance, where a service to customer, I think of a Wikipedia or something like that, right. A service to customer. And that, that I can envision. I can also envision a board that would be disrupted by owners and I’ve seen that case. So high quality board, but the shareholders are in fights and are disrupting, but it still creates a board that doesn’t work that well. Right. Because of that disruption. It’s very hard for me to see a well organized and highly performing board in an underperforming organization. I I’m, I haven’t seen that. But then the definition of performance may of course vary across organizations.

Raza: [00:16:57] Didier, you have seen a [00:17:00] lot of boards. What is your assessment of the general state of global health of governance across the world? Is the world of getting better at running boards? And then,  what have you seen in comparison with US boards and the rest of the world and non US boards? What have been the differences in practices and what is the state of our affairs for governance across the globe?

Didier: [00:17:28] I was quoted for saying in a famous  financial newspaper that 90% of boards are failing. I think it’s improving a bit because people have more awareness now and I see in general better boards, but you know, the state of health, it’s still not great. And I would say if I’m looking at board improvement as a generational thing, which I think it is, governance has become the [00:18:00] foremost topic these days, but it’s the 25 years type of progress.

I would say we’re about midway. So we’ve improved our practices a lot in many areas, contribution to strategy, stakeholder engagement, shareholder, engagement. and, and so, performance reviews, even board evaluations, I think we are starting to be quite serious there, so it’s a bit late, right. But people are, you know, the well-minded people know how to play the game better and better. And I think that’s what matters, right? Those that want to achieve have the tools to achieve. I’m a rather a meritocratic type of person. Right. I think if it’s a boards that are willing can do a good job, right. We’re home free. And I think we’re getting there. I think we’re getting there.

Raza: [00:18:53] All right. So we, we have hope and we are improving in general.

Didier: [00:18:57] The USA used to [00:19:00] be the lighthouse, right. It used to be, you know what the world would follow.  And then you’ve had several events and I’m not talking about a current or last administration. It’s much longer term than that. Hey, it’s a seminal events that have occurred that primacy of all the shareholder above or, the, the, the social difficulties I would say is that, the world has seen,  and the rise of private markets with, what I would call the exclusion of, for a good part of what should be well-governed from, from the transparency and the views of the world.

And so these different trends have needed that competing systems, not substitute. So that competing systems have come at right. The, what I would call the Scandinavian stakeholders system, [00:20:00] with, you know, often employees on boards and, under, rather I wouldn’t call it socialist, but closer to socialism, perspective is advantages and disadvantages. I’ve seen very effective governance promoted by large soverign wealth funds that are very directive with strong views.

I’ve seen the Singaporean model, where people are aligned to culture and not constraints, but culture and somehow can still foster good governance.  As long as you own these values that are there. And so I’ve seen, I’ve seen alternative to tell you, the reality I’m working with a Pan-African company, an African company that has excellent governance where, you know, the whistle blowers are there on there, and they’re moving the game. And, I’m seeing, some European companies [00:21:00] that are transforming at speed. and we’re still taking lessons from the U S. Because, you know, the US is still, you know, that, that fantastic carrier of innovation, et cetera, right. Governance. And how do you think tech governance? And so, what I find is that the world has just grown richer and the large cap US model is not the model anymore. And, it’s how do we think what’s right for organization? Whether it’s a family business, a private equity business, a publicly traded business, even a state owned business what’s right for us. And how do we emulate the best?

Joe: [00:21:41] Excellent. Yeah. You know, I want to go back to something you said, though, you were quoted as saying that 90% of all boards are failing. Is that an accurate quote?

Didier: [00:21:52] Yeah. You know, it’s not scientific. Right. But it came from my practice and I have to tell you, I don’t see healthy boards. Let’s be very clear. [00:22:00] Right.

Joe: [00:22:00] But overwhelming majority of overwhelming majority are failing?

Didier: [00:22:05] Yeah, yes. At least five years ago. And I would say now it is a majority by far. Maybe it’s more 70%, but it is a majority. Maybe I have high standards, but…

Joe: [00:22:18] That’s okay. That’s

Didier: [00:22:19] good…

But when I say failing, I mean, In my view, they are not fulfilling their fiduciary responsibility to the organization. So the organization may still be resilient. Right. But in my view, they are not fulfilling their fiduciary responsibility and it may be because of their own choice. That the worst case, it may be because of limitations. They don’t have the courage to address, which is, I would say more common. And then I also have to say, we have [00:23:00] integrity failures in the world, and we have transfers of wealth in all countries. Right. And that’s also a reality, where people get comfortable, they know what’s going on, they’re aware of it and they don’t want to be bothered. And so all, all these cases cumulated still make to me. the majority of boards, unfortunately,

Raza: [00:23:26] I would also say that in some ways, because the longevity of organizations, the average age that they now die off has been coming lower and lower is also an indication of that governance failure.

Didier: [00:23:42] Right. As long as this is so true. Right. And, but to me, it’s, this is healthy, no systems. This is of course a wealth of the capitalistic system, right? It’s a natural selection process and this is what I love. Right. It’s organic. It works. And it’s [00:24:00] not capitalism as an ideology, right. It’s a system of natural selection where, you know, the strongest, the health iestl, will do well and will organize themselves to do well. And that’s a good sign of natural selection of on governance, which, which exists and is there. And the US is of course doing that perfectly well with the different systems and by the way, diversity in all the structures shows the quality of system governance, private equity in competition with publicly traded, traded, widely held publicly traded with a family anchor with privately held by a family with, you know, agencies, even with nonprofits, right. That whole organic system works great.

Joe: [00:24:53] What are the issues that lead to board failure? The primary issue, the primary issues.

Didier: [00:24:58] So first, you know, [00:25:00] I’ve had my four areas of failures where I see where boards killed their organization. And the first one is technical risks. Right. And, you’d think for example, of a BP with a Macondo Field explosion. Who has the board didn’t even have on their risk map, that specific risk or think Boeing, right? That’s also a technical risk issue.

The second one is a strategy and strategy involvement. Classic is, you know, digital photography and Kodak. Of course, the third which I pay a lot of attention to and very sensitive and people don’t think enough about that is the quality of the relationship between the executives and the non-executives – is this a trusted relationship, right? Is there a free flow of information? is that psychological safety? In that relationship and the fourth are simply integrity issues because I see, I see major corruption, [00:26:00] conflict of interest, and more than what people admit. Right. And, and sometimes it’s soft, right? It’s soft conflict of interest, but it’s still there. And somehow that disturbs the role of the board in a very fundamental way. And so for me, these are the four key drivers, but then in today’s world, you have all, you know, all the elements to, to integrate in that, right? The technological transformation, the shareholding activism, and you know, all, all the different drivers that are engaging the extraordinary dynamics that we have in today’s world.

Joe: [00:26:38] It sounds like a lot of that comes down to the failure to identify and manage risk.

Didier: [00:26:46] Yeah. I tend to agree with you. I tend to agree with you, but risk in a deep way. Right, and, and typically by the way, a good risk practice to me just dealing with the [00:27:00] larger organization on that, and I don’t think they’re doing a good job on risk and they have fantastic risk processes and they have a very elaborated ERM and they do all their risk maps, they’re subsidiary, et cetera. Right.

But the good board work on risk is for the board itself. To elaborate its own view of risk as differentiated from management, right? Because again, we are back to dialectic, right? You need to have all these different views and different angles. And so, you know, the, the CEO is not going to put himself as a risk on the risk map. But if you, as a board, think your CEO is a risk, you need to be able to integrate that right. Or culture as a risk.  And typically you need, you need that perspective on the board.

So I would say is that risk work is essential to good board work. Now, Joe, I’m a little careful because maybe a lot of people [00:28:00] see risk as a process. Right. And they just follow the process and then think they have completed their risk duties. And objectively if that’s what we’re thinking about risk, then no, the board work goes much beyond that. Right. But if you’re thinking risk in a deep way, I fully agree with

Raza: [00:28:18] you.

I love the quote from, one of the venture capitalists that says failure comes from failure to imagine failure.

Didier: [00:28:25] Very good. Yeah, I like that. That’s a good one. Yeah.

Raza: [00:28:27] Didier. I want to talk about your most recent book, “High Performance Boards”, a practical guide that is envisioned for improving and energizing your governance. What was your goal for writing that book? Who’s your intended audience? How is it intended to be used?  Tell us about your book.

Didier: [00:28:45] Well, you know, I have 20 years of practice helping boards, get better, right. Improve themselves. And, and so I’ve developed so many tools, so many exercises, so many ways to improve so many ways to [00:29:00] think about where you need to improve that I thought, it would be nice to have that. And I didn’t see a book that did that. And so I decided why don’t I compile everything I’ve done here for boards, make it, you know, a bit consistent and rational so that people have a bit of a guide.

If they are join a board or is they are on the board on how to help that board improve or to help themselves improve as board members, and, and very fundamental to that, and you hear it and I think we’re all in agreement here, is governance is a fundamental driver, not on your organizational health. But of social well-being for the future. It is, you know, it is the best gift that you can do to an organization to dedicate yourself to the governance quality of that organization. Whatever is the purpose of the organization and all [00:30:00] purposes valid in my view. So it’s really commercial, non-commercial all of that adds to the world.  And fulfilling it with integrity with the right quality is, is what I’m trying to foster. And I believe, you know, I have a few tricks of the trade let’s say, right that help actually, get there faster for those people that are motivated.

Raza: [00:30:24] I see a very, rich tool set that’s, available to, as you said, like even to an individual board member or a board on the whole. Or consultants and advisors to boards who help, make boards, more effective. I think it’s a, it’s a wonderful compilation of, your distilled knowledge across many different areas.

Joe: [00:30:47] Do you spend time training board members?

Didier: [00:30:50] Yeah, quite a bit . Training is not quite the right word, right? I prefer educating because I don’t do training. For example, I wouldn’t do a [00:31:00] training on, on risk techniques or a training on fraud detection. But, I tend to try and elevate them. Right. Educate them around the key should sometimes very, very senior individuals.  And I do one-on-ones with chairs of large organizations and the, and I do find, and by the way, I get educated at the same time. Right. It’s it goes both ways. It goes both ways. I find, you know, I think I’m a true educator at heart. I, I discovered that in the US actually in Boston, Cambridge, and, and to me, this is, you know, it’s so beautiful, right.

To figure out how to be better. Right. And, and somehow we all have that capacity and organizations have that capacity. And so I’d like to foster that, and I do that one-on-one with board members.

Joe: [00:31:54] That is a terrific thing to, to be, striving for that’s for sure. [00:32:00]

Raza: [00:32:00] Didier, we have a bunch of rapid fire questions for you. What have been the two best boards in your board career and why?

Didier: [00:32:09] Nestor in Finland, the oil and gas company decided to move into biofuel managers that transformation multiplied its market cap by a factor of five while the oil wells of majors divided theirs by a factor of three. And, I think that’s a transformation I want to see. And then, I would say one, Italian organization I work with, and has completely transformed the game and I have to be discreet about it, but, I’m really glad about that. That’s a good force for the world.

Raza: [00:32:42] Wonderful.

Joe: [00:32:43] What board practice do you recommend that most boards should follow?

Didier: [00:32:47] Well I think constructive dissent, right? The dialogue and ensuring the dialogue. I think whenever you think you see someone not participating, whenever you see that, you know, somehow it’s not [00:33:00] free flowing that there are groups that are forming, you know, you’re losing it. Right. So pay attention when you lose it. Awareness of constructive dissent.

Raza: [00:33:09] Well said. Number one rule you would implement for conducting board meetings if you served as a board chair?

Didier: [00:33:17] Equal participation and, the, continuous board evaluation. Awareness for performance. Right? How good are we? Huh? Awareness,awareness with equal participation.

Joe: [00:33:32] Boy, I couldn’t agree more on both of those points. Favorite book or books that you’ve read in the last year? Anything in particular?

Didier: [00:33:41] Ah, yeah, I just, read, Rene Girard, Stanford professor on, you know, sociology, anthropology on mimetism. It made me think a lot about group think and how we, we need to preserve even the individuality of organizations. You [00:34:00] know, we are all here to talk about what are the best boards, but truly the best board is the one you’ll invent. Right. And how you’re going to create it and how we are all individuals, organizations that have their own personality and truly it’s figuring out what’s right for your organization.

Raza: [00:34:19] And Didier, lastly, non-profit cause or mission that matters the most to you?

Didier: [00:34:25] So I help in my governance work for free. It’s my donation, the Red Cross, which, tries to alleviate, you know, the horrors of Wars, and also UNICEF that takes care of children around the world, but… but where I care the most somehow, for some reason, close to my heart, I suppose, is nature. And I so, I, you know, I help Conservancy, organizations, but I also give money to a Nature Conservancy. So I’m close to nature.

Joe: [00:34:58] It’s been great [00:35:00] speaking with you today. Thanks for joining us. I hope you and your family are well and will continue to be well and stay safe.

Didier: [00:35:07] Thank you so much for the great pleasure.

Joe: [00:35:10] And thank you all for listening today, to On Boards with our special guests, Didier Cossin, please stay safe and take care of yourselves, your families, and your communities as best you can Raza you take here. I hope you and your family continue to be well, and you’re staying safe also.

Raza: [00:35:27] Yes, Joe, we’re all staying safe. Thank you. And I hope the same for you and your family as well.

Joe: [00:35:32] Thanks. Take care.

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