Behind Closed Doors

‘The Boardroom: How to get in, get on and make a difference’

From his 30 years of serving on boards, Simon Laffin provides a guide on how to get appointed to a board, and what to do, and what to look out for, when you. He covers a wide range of board issues from what financial numbers to look out for, the understanding risk and cash-flow, decision-making, mergers and acquisitions, how to work with colleagues, even to how to handle sexual misdemeanours in the boardroom. He also tackles controversial subjects, such as diversity and excess regulation. The book is full of tips and techniques to help even experienced directors make a difference. Simon argues that what boards need is education and encouragement, to get a better understanding of board issues. He explains that boards do not need more invasive regulation. He wants to open the doors to the boardroom so that insiders understand better what is happening and what they need to do, and outsiders get a clearer view of what happens inside the boardroom.

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Notes From A Non-Executive

Topics covered range from what to look at when you are thinking of joining a board, to handling difficult issues that arise, to what to expect if your company gets bid for.

Risks & The Boardroom

This is a plea for boards to take corporate risk registers seriously and suggests ways to enable boards to think about risks in a constructive way.

Corporate Governance

A blog on recent corporate governance changes, lesson that can be learned from failures such as Carillion and Northern Rock, and issues around the audit industry.


Articles looking at various aspects of economics

Recent Blogs

Share buy-backs in trouble again

Share buy-backs in trouble again

Lucy Tobin’s article in the Evening Standard drew my eye. Share buy-backs have always seemed to be controversial amongst commentators in the UK, and this article is yet another to criticise them. Let’s look at the arguments being used and see if they stand up to...

8 Tips to spot dodgy statistics

8 Tips to spot dodgy statistics

You’ve just seen a report that concludes what you ‘already knew’. Maybe it’s that having more diversity on a board increases profit, or that eating butter causes heart disease, or that first born children make better CEOs. You pass on, feeling suitably confirmed in...

Boards need education not regulation

Boards need education not regulation

I joined the board of Northern Rock a month after it suffered its humiliating run featuring long queues of anxious savers. This was my first non-executive role, despite having been a FTSE 100 Finance Director for ten years. As I sat in the board, surrounded by...