herald

Monday 21 January 2019

Rehab's new board is relegated to Division 3 from the off

Rehab has a new board.

Thirteen fresh directors. All employed in a way that is populist, well-meaning - and intrinsically stupid.

They're not being paid. They can claim expenses, but will not get directors' fees.

The reasons for this, one assumes, are in part because Rehab is a charity and in part because they really didn't want headlines saying 'New Rehab Directors in Cash Windfall'.

Well, they should have sucked up the bad publicity.

The problem with Rehab, and some other charities, revealed in the wake of HSE reviews was not expensive corporate governance, it was bad corporate governance.

Right now, charities need to be saying to their boards - we take your role very seriously and we demand you take it equally seriously.

By not paying their board Rehab are saying: 'we are different', 'we are not like a PLC', 'we require you not to do a job, but to provide a charitable service'.

I'm sure they mean well, but it's counter-productive.

Charities pay CEO's, CFO's, managers, service providers and front line workers. Why? Because they require them to do a professional job.

Unsurprising therefore, that the recent scandals related not to the performance of core staff, but to the performance of those with seats at the boardroom table.

The same mistake is made with State Boards - paying people a pittance of what the private sector offers while requiring them to take equal responsibility.

Despite this ridiculous approach to the governance of our semi-state and charity sector, we have had many great people take up roles in both, just like many of the new Rehab Board are top-flight professionals.

But that occurs by accident rather than design.

It's like the Premiership - investors, chairpeople and headhunters watch how directors operate at the top PLC's and limited companies.

Then, based on their performance and reputation, they offer them other directorships - same as football scouts.

And just as the possibility of a fat paycheck and a better club brings the best out in a footballer, so fees and additional Directorships bring out the best in a Board member.

By paying a pittance (on nothing at all) charities and semi-states lock themselves out of the Premiership and into the Football Conference - and no amount of well-meaning volunteerism combined with the occasional Messi will turn Kidderminster Harriers into Chelsea. Less flesh is best

Right, it's time to end this semi-nudity thing. So far 141 million people have watched Nicki Minaj (left) sing about - and show off -her big fat ass (her words, not mine) on Youtube. J-Lo now performs on stage wearing just her pants, while warbling about her big booty (her description, not mine). And Justin Beiber's latest thing is stripping to his shorts on TV - further proof that he's an irredeemable pillock (my description, not his).

We need a backlash. Cureheads, mods, emos, rockers, boho-chic, grunge - anything. Just give us musicians with angst and anoraks for a few years till we recover from all the flesh currently on display.

Licked by record holder

The Guinness Book of Records is out. Californian Nick Soeberl holds the record for 'World's longest tongue'. He's able to lick his elbow.

Now that I know it can be done, I feel somewhat hard done by that I lack this gift.

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