Practical Governance Achievements

Brief case studies demonstrating Julie Garland McLellan's influence in the Boardroom;

Resolving Conflict

Disparity of interest between water retailers and wholesalers can lead to sub-optimal outcomes for the industry as a whole. Julie moved for the shareholder from the wholesale board onto a retail Board to influence strategy and obtain better holistic outcomes. She did this by contributing a wholesale viewpoint as an input to Board decision-making and seeking out issues where Boards and senior executives from different companies could work together without conflicts of interest.

There are now regular Board level meetings between industry constituents and the metropolitan water industry now makes joint policy submissions to assist government in better managing its investment in the sector.

Improving Quality of Governance

A commercial Board was keen to implement ASX governance protocols but lacked a budget for performance assessments. Julie clarified the desired outputs from an assessment and, working with the Board and company secretary, developed a self assessment process based on the role of the Board in developing and implementing strategy and complying with the constitution. Following assessment the Board adopted three changes that all members felt would improve effectiveness. The discussion also created shared understanding of the role that the Board wished to play in strategy.

Managing Risk

A commercial company was pursuing a strategy dependent on successful capital raising. Julie identified the potential solvency risks and headed a joint board and executive taskforce to:

  • Develop an understanding of the timeframes and actions required to place a company in voluntary administration or liquidation
  • Identify early warning signs of strategic failure
  • Put in place a monitoring and decision-making framework supported by management and the board to enable appropriate management of solvency risks.
  • The company successfully raised the required capital, remains solvent, and continues to use Julie's frameworks.

    Unification and Vision

    The Board of an industry association comprised representatives of individual practitioners and employer groups. Over several years the Board had become deeply divided on how best to serve the industry. Julie worked with the Board to develop a vision for overall industry success and a series of 'no regrets' actions that the association could take to achieve their objectives. The Chairman said he was amazed that one person could get the entire board unified and working as a team in such a short time.