The Condign Approach

Condign is an independent, and independent-minded, board consulting firm founded by Duncan Reed.

Our approach to board evaluation is that one size almost never fits all, and that those who advocate only one tool or one methodology have all the virtues and the vices of a “one-club golfer”.

At the root of our approach is the understanding that complex behaviours in a boardroom often either result from or build upon differing attitudes to business options and business problems.

An understanding of the commercial imperatives and debate in a particular company and sector is therefore important, alongside personality questions and interplay, in taking a properly broad and satisfying approach to evaluating a board and its boardroom culture at a given time.

Board members are grown-ups, quite capable of moderating their behaviour, but who nevertheless do believe in the value of their own experiences and instincts, and who wish both to help and to be heeded. Much of what goes on – and goes wrong – flows from these simple truths. We do not attempt to evaluate company strategy or operational performance but we do make sure that we are fully informed by them when looking at boardroom dynamics at a point in time.

We provide an independent, and independent-minded, approach, free from conflicts of interest, whether real or perceived. We bring many years of practical experience of analysing, working with, recruiting for and advising company boards, and doing so in a down-to-earth, realistic fashion, and with proper reference to both normal and best practice elsewhere, especially in relevant comparator companies.

We look to provide a service that is ‘condign’ in every sense: personal, tailored to your needs and suited to your means. We invest a good deal of time upfront with you and your colleagues in setting the process up to succeed; we have informal, trusting and enjoyable conversations with board members; and we write readable reports in plain English which set out the issues fairly and squarely but which focus on the future by suggesting possible solutions and actions. At every stage of the process, you receive a completely personal service and totally objective advice.

‘Speak you this in my praise? … In thy condign praise’

Shakespeare, Love’s Labour’s Lost Act 1, Scene 2