Time to choose this year’s governance leaders

So nominations are open for the 2017 ICSA Awards. This is a great opportunity for those who have performed an outstanding job in a governance role to be professionally recognised by their peers, with corresponding recognition for the organisation for which they work.

There are a variety of awards appropriate for people in all sectors and at all levels in our profession.

The premier award will, as always, be that for Company Secretary of the Year, open to those in any senior company secretarial role in any sector. Winners over the last few years have demonstrated a wide variety of skills and experience, but all have been exemplars in their field, leading by example and striving to improve their organisation. The judges will be looking for a nominee who demonstrates these qualities to the highest degree.

In 2016, we changed the Deputy Company Secretary of the Year award to Governance Professional of the Year. Of course this is still be open to deputy secretaries, but also to anyone else in a governance role other than that of company secretary. We hope to encourage deserving nominations from all sectors and at a variety of levels, recognising that many individuals are stepping up to the increasing needs of the modern business.

The award for Team of the Year is open to governance teams who show excellent teamwork, evidenced by the creative and effective management of more routine duties and tasks, and the ability to meet the challenge of exceptional projects and transactions. They may also have developed innovative strategies that contribute to emerging best practice.

The award for The One to Watch is open to those in a company secretarial or governance role in the early stages of their career who demonstrate high impact in managing tasks and activities, and contribute to overall performance.

This is for those whose recent achievements show high future potential and who have greatly exceeded expectations of what would normally be required from someone in their role; someone who is destined to be a top company secretary or governance professional.

In 2015, we introduced an award for Service Provider of the Year to recognise the increasing number of professionals in our industry who work on an outsourced basis. The award is open to those individuals or companies providing company secretarial or governance services to other organisations. Self-nominations are acceptable in this category, but must be supported by testimonials from the clients concerned.

Finally, there is the award for the Governance Project of the Year. The management of major projects has always been a significant part of the role of members of the company secretarial team. I have been struck in previous years by how often nominations for individual awards have focused on the delivery of a major project, be it a complex corporate action, management of an IT or organisational change within the business, or implementation of new legislation or regulation.

This award is open to those individuals or companies who have undertaken a significant governance project in the year ending 30 June 2017. This should be a transformational project that is significant in terms of size or value to the company or the department, rather than a business as usual implementation.

In all these categories, the judges will be looking for someone who has gone significantly above and beyond their ‘day job’, perhaps in achieving recognition or adding value for their organisation, or by influencing or shaping the wider profession.

The nomination is important and a well-written, considered entry is always helpful, but the key criterion is what the individual has done beyond the job for which they are paid, and how this has benefitted the organisation or our profession.

I look forward to seeing your nominations, and wish you all the best of luck.

Peter Swabey FCIS is Policy and Research Director at ICSA: The Governance Institute

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