The Role of EQ in Unlocking Board Effectiveness

In this insightful podcast, our CEO, Sharon Constançon, unveils the hidden challenges hindering board effectiveness through an intriguing octopus analogy, suggesting a unified cause at the core. She elaborates on elevating the emotional intelligence of key figures like the company secretary, chair, and directors as a strategic move to tackle these elusive problems, propelling the board toward realising its utmost potential.
In the intricate dance of corporate governance, the effectiveness of a board can often feel like navigating through the murky waters of an unseen ocean, where the challenges are as multifaceted and interconnected as the limbs of an octopus. Our CEO, Sharon Constançon, provides a compelling analogy and insightful strategies to enhance boardroom dynamics and effectiveness through the strategic application of Emotional Quotient (EQ). In her podcast with The Chartered Governance Institute UK and Ireland, Sharon delves into the heart of board challenges, likening the core issue to the head of an octopus, from which various issues stem. Continue reading or listen to the podcast to find out more about the insights shared, offering a roadmap to elevate board performance through EQ.
The Octopus Analogy: Unravelling Boardroom Challenges

The octopus analogy serves as a powerful metaphor for the intricate issues impacting boardroom effectiveness. Just as an octopus’s limbs are controlled by its head, the myriad issues faced by boards often stem from a central, sometimes elusive, problem. Identifying this “head” is crucial to addressing the peripheral challenges effectively.

Enhancing Emotional Intelligence in the Boardroom
The Role of the Company Secretary

The key to enhancing EQ in the boardroom is the transformation of the company secretary role into a leadership position that bridges the gap between the board and the executive team. An empowered company secretary with high EQ can act as the board’s eyes and ears, identifying and communicating critical issues that may not be immediately apparent.

Cultivating Boardroom EQ

The necessity of developing EQ across the board, highlights its importance in facilitating open, constructive dialogue. The ability to navigate interpersonal dynamics, understand underlying emotions, and engage in empathetic communication is essential for pre-empting and resolving conflicts, enhancing collaboration, and ultimately driving effective governance.

Strategic Empowerment through Emotional Intelligence
Strategy and Risk Management

By applying EQ, boards can more effectively tackle strategic planning and risk management. Emotionally intelligent leadership fosters a culture of trust and safety, encouraging innovative thinking and a proactive approach to potential threats.

Governance and Compliance

EQ also plays a critical role in governance and compliance, where the ability to anticipate and mitigate reputational risks becomes invaluable. Through empathetic leadership, boards can ensure that governance structures and compliance measures are not just in place but are genuinely effective and aligned with the organisation’s ethical standards.

Financial Sustainability and Business Development

The podcast also touches on the relevance of EQ in areas like financial sustainability and business development. By understanding the emotional landscape of the organisation and its stakeholders, boards can make more informed decisions that support long-term success.

“Bringing EQ to the head of the octopus not only disarms the negative impacts affecting various areas of the business but also enriches the board’s collective ability to govern effectively.”Sharon Constançon
Embracing EQ for a More Effective Board

The journey to boardroom effectiveness is less about navigating the challenges in isolation and more about understanding and addressing the core issues that bind them together, much like the head of an octopus.

By enhancing the EQ of company secretaries, chairs, and directors, boards can foster an environment where open dialogue, strategic foresight, and empathetic leadership prevail.

Take the time to reflect on the EQ dynamics within your board and explore actionable strategies to harness the full potential of their governance teams.

In a world where the pace of change and complexity in business continues to accelerate, the insights shared by this podcast offer a timely reminder of the power of emotional intelligence in unlocking the full potential of board effectiveness.

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    Sharon Constançon

    Board Evaluation Expert, Mentor & Advocate for Good Governance

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    Sharon Constançon

    Sharon’s deep understanding of Board behaviours, leadership and regulated industries supports her delivery of truly deep, insightful and practical board evaluations. Sharon is a mentor and coach to Chairmen and Directors and champion of the Company Secretary.

    Sharon has an MBA, is a Chartered Director and a Chartered Secretary. She shares her professional journey as a lecturer for the Qualifying Level Boardroom Dynamics course for the Chartered Governance Institute UK & Ireland. Sharon is on the Court and is Chairman of the Membership Committee of the Worshipful Company of Chartered Secretaries and Administrators (WCCSA) and is a member of the International Committee of the Chartered Institute for Securities and Investment (CISI).

    She is a contributor to the Risk Coalition and course leader for programmes and seminars run by the Corporate Governance Institute in Ireland.

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