Q & A with Get on Board Group 1 Chair Nicole Swaine [Part 2]
In this second part of our interview with new Adelaide-based Get on Board group Chair Nicole Swaine, we get her tips for juggling a board and professional career, her predictions for the future of corporate governance, and important advice for new and aspiring company directors.
GoBA: How did/do you manage a professional career, while sitting on a board(s)?
NS: At times, it is a juggling act. When I make a commitment to an organisation as a Director, I commit to provide the most I possibly can; I therefore limit the portfolio of Board roles that I have. It is important to maximise the value I contribute to an organisation that I have been appointed to. I also only contribute to organisations that I have a genuine passion for. When you contribute to an organisation that connects with you, it gives – not takes – energy so it becomes easier to fit in your commitments when you truly enjoy them.
GoBA: What do you enjoy most about being a director?
NS: I enjoy being able to make a difference in an organisation’s strategy and its future direction. I only accept directorships in areas that I have a genuine passion for and to be able to develop and connect a strategy to a highly skilled CEO so that the vision can come alive is incredibly rewarding.
It is a privilege to hold such a role and there is a responsibility for a Director to act in the best interest of this organisation so that they leave the organisation in a better and stronger place than they found it for the next generation of directors.
GoBA: How do you see the future of the corporate governance landscape changing?
NS: I would like to see the future of the governance landscape changing by seeing an increase to board diversity targets. Change is rapid and consistent in governance standards, and the importance of keeping informed of these changes and what they mean for your sectors and organisations is incredibly important. Involvement in programs such as Get on Board will assist with navigating these changing compliance standards as you will be connected to experts in these fields.
GoBA: What’s the most important thing to remember as a director / board member?
NS: That you are a custodian of an organisation, its assets, and its direction for a fixed period of time. It is a privilege to hold such a role and there is a responsibility for a Director to act in the best interest of this organisation so that they leave the organisation in a better and stronger place than they found it for the next generation of directors.
GoBA: If you could give one piece of advice to new directors, what would it be?
NS: Contribute to what connects to you, have a support network to help you through what can be at times a challenging journey, and continue to invest in your professional development so you contribute the most that you can to the positions that you hold.