Studio Insights by



It's hard to believe that January is almost over. The New Year is starting off with a lot of excitement here at Governance Studio. I was thrilled and delighted to be the emcee at the Corporate Governance Awards in New York on January 8th. The evening was an amazing opportunity to recognize leading practitioners and organizations in our Corporate Secretary universe. Congratulations to all the winners! Scroll to the end to see some photos of the event and of the NASDAQ bell ringing.


Before you get to that, I am reminded that Super Bowl is on its way. And, whether you are a Ravens fan or a 49ers fan, I want to share a great idea from football
- Yes, football - that we can apply to our boardrooms today.


Okay, so this idea might not give you as much instant gratification as the chili and beer you may be enjoying on February 3rd, but for long term impact it is a clear winner.






A Governance Lesson from the Super Bowl!

So, here are a couple of seemingly unrelated facts:


  1.  In 83 years (until 2003) the number of minority head coaches in the NFL only went from one to seven. In the last 10 years, that number has more than doubled to 13.
  2. Research shows that the best way to get people and organizations to change is to give them one simple action to take.

Now I have you wondering what either of these things has to do with corporate governance. It's simple really - what I am talking about is boardroom diversity.


And, how taking one simple voluntary action, might help us prevent regulators from enacting the dreaded "pink quotas" (minimum requirements for the number of women or other diversity candidates on boards).


Perhaps we could, in a mere 10 years, move the snail-paced increases in board diversity into the realm of real significance.


The NFL did just that when it enacted the Rooney Rule in 2003 and expanded it in 2009. The rule (named after Dan Rooney, the Chair of the league's diversity committee) simply requires teams to interview at least one ethnic minority candidate for every senior football operations position in the NFL.


In the governance world we have a quickly closing window of opportunity to address diversity before the regulators address it for us.


Any board that wishes to do so can voluntarily adopt a Diversity One Policy - commit to taking one simple step, one new action - interview at least one diverse candidate for every available board seat.


It sounds easy. I think it is. Ask your board if they are willing to make the commitment and see what we can achieve in the next 10 years.


PS  Whether you love this idea or hate it, please email me your feedback.

Recent Event Photos

Corporate Governance Awards - Gotham Hall, New York - January 8, 2013


Corporate Governance Awards - Gotham Hall, New York - January 8, 2013



NASDAQ opening bell - New York - January 8, 2013


Send me an email at if you have a question about a governance practice or a corporate secretarial procedure.

I will reply to you privately. With your permission, I will share the question and answer (but not your name or organization) in an upcoming newsletter.



Coming Events

The Canadian Society of Corporate Secretaries has just announced the judges for the inaugural Excellence in Governance Awards. I'm delighted to be working alongside some of the most distinguished governance leaders in Canada. Check out the press release here. 

Get your friends to sign up for FREE quick tips!

For every new person who joins our mailing list we'll be sending them a FREE list of "Quick Tips" from AAA+ Minutes™. 


Every Friday we'll also be tweeting a quick tip from the book. Make sure to follow us for updates and to get your free quick tips!

Shout outs

A big shout out to all my friends at Corporate Secretary Magazine. Thanks for inviting me to emcee the awards. It was so much fun! 

Follow us online

View our profile on LinkedIn

Follow us on Twitter