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7 Questions with Chris Menage
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7 Questions with Chris Menage
Name: Chris Menage
Current title: Founder
Current organisation: e²: educational ecosystems
Chris is an innovative consultant who, over 20 years in Australia and abroad, successfully applies critical and systems thinking in private enterprise, government administration and education sectors. Chris has first hand knowledge of engaging interdependent stakeholders and networks to create new opportunities that unleash possibilities. His award winning track record of collaborative practice spans levels (a State board, NFP committees and local community action groups), and has contributed to sustained industry wide learning and educational change.
Chris' expertise, combined with travelling and living with different cultures around the world, is reflective of the transformative competencies needed in a time of connectivity. This unique perspective allows fresh, future-focused insights ideally suited to cultures of learning – in startups, social enterprises, organisations, institutions and for employers, employees, schools, educators and students alike - that understand an ever-changing world.
Currently through e², Chris identifies and activates partnerships that provide avenues & platforms to empower others to get on with what they do best: deliver excellence in their chosen area of impact.
1. What have you found most challenging as a board member?
Availability. Time is our most precious resource & not all workplaces see or understand the benefits of "extra-curricula" commitments flowing back to the organisation.
Mindsets. Not all boards are openminded or expert enough to be confident in identifying where new talent might lie beyond the immediate industry specific context. In an age of interconnectivity, interdisciplinary stakeholders are needed now more than ever.
2. How did you become a board member? Can you please briefly tell the story?
A former boss was a very solutions focused skilled reader of people & empowering mentor. He identified a passion in me, extended an invitation to shadow him to a meeting, offered for me to participate in a meeting, which turned into organising an event, which turned into a place on the board.
3. How do you structure your work days from waking up to going to sleep?
Now self-employed so varies.
4. What's the most recent significant leadership lesson you've learned?
Be authentic. Be humble. Be open.
5. What are some of the keys to doing governance well in a organisation?
Agency & transparency.
Most people are willing to invest in something, most things are achievable & most obstacles surmountable if collectively people feel they have access to a seat at the table, where information is openly available & they can expect to give and receive honesty in interactions.
The rest is just white noise.
6. How do you differentiate between the role of board member and the roles of CEO or executive team member of a organisation?
Board member facilitates the overarching strategy & culture of the organisation, while the CEO or executive team put that into play. The CEO etc implement day to day operations & management while the board hold CEO accountable on agreed goals / targets / philosophies / culture.
7. What is one meaningful story that comes to mind from your time as a board member so far?
The amplification that many hands combined can achieve. The natural generative power of the ripple effect like minded individuals with aligned values can have on their sphere of influence when they decide to collaborate.