Advisor Insights with Craig Manson: Transitioning from Executive to Chair and Director
Craig Manson is a Certified Chair, Non-Executive Director and Business Advisor. Craig works at the intersection between strategy, commercial go to market, customer, and culture, with the single aim of driving Value Creation for all stakeholders.
In addition to being CEO of Manson & Co, his portfolio includes Advisory Board Chair roles for a range of private, high growth companies. Craig’s is a Non-Executive Director on the Board of Respond Global, Alex Pty Ltd, Toustone and Marketboomer. He is the former Managing Director of Computershare Australia and Executive Director Canon Australia, Global Strategic Team Canon Tokyo.
In this Advisor Insights conversation with Louise Broekman, Advisory Board Centre Founder and CEO, Craig shares why having a strong foundation and the flexibility to work within a framework adds value to his portfolio and the organisations he serves.
I was chairing boards without the frameworks, and I really felt that I needed some help. I could see gaps and I needed something to actually guide me. I need that foundational piece. I had filled the years in corporate- I’ve got so many different models and stuff coming out of my head, but how do I land that for an organisation? – Craig Manson, Certified Chair
The Advisor Insights series are unfiltered conversations giving you a lens into real people and real businesses within the Advisor ecosystem.
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Louise Broekman: Craig, what’s the board portfolio journey been like for you? I think you completed the Chair certification earlier this year, so it’s been not a long time. What’s that journey been like for you?
Craig Manson: I left the corporate world and you know, being at C-level for about 20 years in the corporate world. I left that last year and I was really struggling with how that plays out for someone like me. Now, I like to think of myself as a generalist. I’m not a specialist. I was trying to work out how do I fit? How do I fit in this, this environment?
Coming across the Certified Chair role really helped me understand how I could actually help fit inside the framework of advisors and business. It has been really accelerated, I’m quite stunned at how fast it’s been. I’m chairing two Advisory Boards at the moment have chaired four in recent times. The portfolio building has been really fast and it just helps me frame how I fit in and the real value I can add to organisation.
Louise Broekman: There are people that chair established advisory boards without any frameworks and without the credential. I think there’s an issue long term of having so many variations in the sector without some quality standards- Advisory Board are not regulated or legislated. Why was it important to you to decide, “I really want to do professional development in this space”. Why did you make that investment?
Craig Manson: I was chairing boards without the frameworks, and I really felt that I needed some help. I could see gaps and I needed something to actually guide me. I need that foundational piece. I had filled the years in corporate- I’ve got so many different models and stuff coming out of my head, but how do I land that for an organisation?
The Certified Chair investment actually helped me really get that foundation settled and being able to replicate that across multiple different companies has been incredibly useful for me, where before that I was actually creating everything new from scratch the first time for every company. I was wasting their time as much as mine. That’s why I wanted to find a way to actually get a foundation. And that’s why I chose to complete the Chair certification.
Louise Broekman: You mentioned earlier that helps you to build some scale in your portfolio. How does that help you?
Craig Manson: Massive, massive scale, because you can actually replicate the framework or a high percentage of the framework across every organisation. It helps you get every action happening faster. You can actually move the business forward much more quickly than if you were building it from scratch.