• Categories: Further reading
  • Published: Dec 11, 2023
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Each month we signpost for you some good reading on governance from around the web

Thought for the month

Goethe was certainly a clever man but possibly not knowingly a governance expert. However, this quote should be writ large on the wall in every boardroom. 

Things which matter most must never be at the mercy of things which matter least. 
— Johann Wolfgang von Goethe  

Henry Mintzberg 

Part one in a series on restoring trust in our companies. Here, he takes aim at the folly of managing by quarterly returns: Restoring trust.  

Meeting 'in camera' 

The November 18 edition of Scott Baldwin’s excellent Director Prep blog discusses board-only sessions. Who should be there? What topics? What to record? And what not to do: In camera sessions  

Writing to think from Farnam street 

‘Writing is the process by which you realise that you do not understand what you are talking about’.  

The author is wrangling with one of his kids who has worked out that getting ChatGPT to write the essay is a simple short cut. He notes that: 

They (children) aren’t yet smart enough to see that in a world where intellectual labour is increasingly outsourced to tools, the human aptitude for clear thinking and unique insights will become all the more valuable. 

We don’t need to be convinced. We use the keyboard to think. But this is a great article worth a read: Writing to Think  

Roger Martin on pivoting

Pivot is one of those words on the corporate nonsense bingo sheet, thrown around without any real understanding of what it means. Here, Martin relates the origin, meaning and use of the phrase: 

‘He [Eric Ries] had a pretty clear view of what he meant by the concept and even created a typology of pivots. In a segment pivot, the company uses the existing offering (whether product or service) and applies it to solve a similar problem for a different set of customers. In a customer problem pivot, the company seeks to solve a different problem for the same customer group. And in a feature pivot, the company picks a particular feature from the current offering and reorients the whole company around that feature’: Understanding the pivot  

Christmas offering 

In the spirit of the season, John shares his very popular recipe for Christmas fig, ginger and chocolate mince.


3 cups finely diced dried figs 
1 cup sultanas, roughly chopped  
1/4 cup finely chopped crystallised ginger 
150g dark chocolate, roughly chopped 
1 apple, peeled and grated 
3/4 cup brown sugar 1 cup brandy 


Mix together all ingredients in a bowl, cover and leave in a cool place for 2 days, stirring occasionally. Pack into sterilised jars and seal well. Leave to mature for at least 1 month before using. 

Makes 6 cups.