Book Lounge

Book Lounge events are free, one hour, facilitated online events which are open to the public and provide attendees with an opportunity to engage with the author(s). If you are an author and would like discuss your publication at a Book Lounge event, please get in touch. All past Book Lounge events can be found under the events tab.

Behind Closed Doors opens the doors to the boardroom and explains what happens inside.

 

Using his thirty years of board experience, Simon Laffin describes board issues, all of which he has experienced, and how boards deal with them. He gives over 150 tips, including how better decisions could be taken and how board directors can better join in those debates. He doesn’t shy away from difficult topics; from how a company responds to a hostile take-over, to how to remove an underperforming director, and even how to handle sex in the boardroom: To name but a few.

He argues strongly that boardrooms need more female and ethnic minority directors, and pinpoints the problem that underrepresented groups lack board experience and knowledge, something that this book can start to address.

Book Shelf

Our best reads! If you would like to recommend a publication, whether free or for purchase, please let us know.

Corporate Governance in China

The Book Lounge event took place on 29 March 2022

Lyndsey Zhang’s new book provides a practical guide to understanding Chinese companies’ corporate governance practices and associated risks. This book is particularly useful to anyone who wants to invest, work, or do business with domestic or multinational Chinese companies.

 

“Zhang is a true expert on both Chinese culture and business. In this book she tackles Chinese corporate governance practices through thoughtful analysis supported by several case studies. Any investor or executive who invests in or competes against Chinese companies should read this book.” Jack McCullough, President of the CFO Leadership Council. 

Stewards of the Future

The Book Lounge event took place on 24 November 2021

Climate- and ESG-competent boards are in high demand by investors and other stakeholders. In fact, climate change and other environmental, social, and governance (ESG) issues have become some of the biggest challenges faced by 21st-century board directors. This book demonstrates that for long-term profits and sustainability, boards need to not only define the purpose of their company in society but have the insight to ask the right questions of management on complex issues such as climate change, ESG, corruption, cybersecurity, human trafficking, supply-chain resilience, and much more. With insightful contributions from over one hundred world experts, this book provides board members and executives with a practical guide on what is required today to develop thriving, future-fit organizations.

Where Next For Operational Risk

The Book Lounge event took place on 2 March 2022

Despite twenty years of endeavor, it’s thumbs down for the banks’ approach to operational risk management. The Basel Committee on Banking Supervision has abandoned the flagship advanced measurement approach (AMA) – the inhouse models banks use to calculate regulatory capital – and C-suite executives wonder what possible business value can be derived from subjective, non aggregatable, color-coded, risk & control self-assessments.

 

In this book Peter examines how the banking sector lost its way in the area of operational risk management and gives his own thoughts on the next generation risk and accounting tools and techniques that will resolve many of the issues banks currently face and optimally position them to meet both the known and unknown challenges that lie ahead.

The Healthy Company

The Book Lounge event took place on 22 June 2021

Community members can access the video of the event here.

The Healthy Company is a handbook for directors and executives – and those on their way to getting there. Leading a company today means managing the uses of its resources and relationships and how it deals with the resulting effects over time as these effects will come back to impact the company, negatively or positively, in the future. It is this circle of integrated thinking that is essential to a healthy and sustainable company. The book considers a company’s purpose and strategy under an integrated thinking approach. It also takes readers through a history of the company structure itself and the corporate revolutions that have happened along the way.

The Evolution of Corporate Governance
(Elements in Corporate Governance)

In this Element, the origins of corporate governance are reviewed. The development of corporate governance in the twentieth century around the world is explored, some unresolved issues in both principle and practice are identified and various theories of corporate governance are described and contrasted. The subject is seen to be in search of its paradigm and a systems theoretical relationship between the theories is suggested. The need to rethink the concept of the limited liability company is argued, and a call is made for the development of a philosophy of corporate governance.

Boards: A Practical Perspective

The Book Lounge event took place on 22 February 2022

Boards, the 2nd edition of the award-winning book, provides a practical, realistic, thought-provoking and useful guide to life as a board member. Fully updated with new content covering the pandemic and its impact on boards and how they operate, diversity and inclusion, culture, stakeholder management, board reviews, smaller listed companies as well as the increased use of technology. This combined with a series of real-life dilemmas for readers to practice on, makes this book an ideal companion whether you are an aspirant, novice or seasoned campaigner.

Board sessions available – take a look!

Outcomes-Based Governance: A modern approach to corporate governance

Corporate governance principles, codes and regulations have developed over the past few years to cater for the challenging realities of a changing world. These advances come in the wake of revelations of weaknesses in organisational leadership and structures, and amid vocal calls for transparency. Corporate governance as a tool for sustainable development of businesses is now more relevant than ever. A recent trend has been to approach corporate governance principles from an ‘outcomes based’ perspective. This requires businesses to consider the benefits of good governance properly applied and fully achieved.

The Auditor: Quo Vadis?

The audit profession is at a tipping point. Without significant innovation in its business model, staff recruitment strategies and audit execution processes, the audit profession may not remain relevant in the 21st century. Yet, the audit profession is in place to protect businesses, their wider stakeholder groups, including clients and investors, and society at large. Therefore, this book asks the important question about the profession’s future and engages a broad readership in the discussion of audit failure and reform.

Corporate Governance:
Principles, Policies, and Practices

This book is designed to equip students with a sound understanding of the frameworks that govern organizations. It offers comprehensive coverage of key principles combined with a strong practical focus through a clear three-part structure. This fourth edition provides a new focus for understanding corporate governance that goes far beyond the regulations, rules, and voluntary codes: it has a new emphasis throughout on culture. For the first time, a distinction is drawn between Western and Eastern perceptions of corporate governance, and new cases from China (including Huawei) further support this new approach.

The Chief Value Officer:
Accountants Can Save the Planet

Integrated Reporting is having a profound impact on corporate thinking and reporting. Value is being assessed on the basis of the sources of value creation used by an organisation and not through a financial lens alone. In Chief Value Officer: Accountants Can Save the Planet, Mervyn King, a global corporate governance and reporting leader, challenges some of the systemic issues preventing organisations from managing in an integrated value-creation way.

Stop the Rot:
Reframing Governance for Directors and Politicians

This book pulls no punches and directly challenges directors and politicians to reframe their thinking about ‘governance’ to address the public’s distrust of them. This is the ROT that needs to be STOPPED. This book is truly radical in going back to basics and then designing a new national action learning system between the four main players overseen by continuous public scrutiny. It is designed to counter the official reports of organisational failure that end too frequently with the weasel words ‘but the main problem was a failure of corporate governance’. This book shows what can be done.

Business Ethics:
A stakeholder, governance and risk approach

Unconventionally, this book argues that business ethics are basic to running business, not a separate subject. They are inherent to the governance and management of every organization, not an optional exercise in corporate citizenship. Business ethics concern behaviour in business and the behaviour of business. Decisions at every level in a company have ethical implications – strategically in the board room, managerially throughout the organization, and operationally in all of its activities. The book not only considers what business ethics are, and why they are important, but offers practical approaches on how to develop a successful corporate ethics culture.

The Fish Rots From The Head: The Crisis in our Boardrooms: Developing the Crucial Skills of the Competent Director

As a Chinese proverb says ‘The fish rots from the head’ and so it is with businesses and other organisations – the buck starts and stops in the boardroom. This third edition of Bob Garratt’sbestselling book that highlights the importance of effectivecorporate governance has been extensively updated following the corporate scandals of the early 2000s – Enron, WorldCom, Tyco – and the abysmal boardroom standards that the recent credit crunch and ensuing global financial crisis brought to light.

Integrate: Doing Business in the 21st Century

Different corporate tools are needed for doing business today. One of the four corporate tools for today’s business is integrated thinking. This extends strategy and daily management beyond the pure financial to encompass the social and environmental factors that deeply affect a company’s future viability in the 21st century. Integrated thinking leads to another tool – the integrated report. This tells the company’s story of how it creates value and how it can create value in the future. This book offers practical guidance on integrated thinking and the integrated report.

Corporate Governance and Chairmanship: A Personal View

In 1992 Sir Adrian Cadbury chaired the committee, sponsored by the Bank of England, whose Report on the Financial Aspects of Corporate Governance (commonly known as the ‘Cadbury Report’) put issues of corporate governance on the map.

In this 2002 book, 10 years later, Sir Cadbury reflects on issues of corporate governance and chairmanship drawing on his own business and policy-making experience. In the book, he discusses and explains the central issue of corporate governance; provides practical advice to chairmen and directors on their roles and responsibilities; and surveys the major codes of practice that have been developed in the last decade. He also considers the implications of the current review of company law and speculates on the implications of electronic developments for shareholders’ voice and voting, the extent of a company’s social responsibility, and the changing relationship between boards, managers, and investors.

Wits Business School, 2 St Davids Pl,St Andrew Rd, Parktown, 

Johannesburg, 2193, South Africa

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