After over seven years of providing expert advice based on her strong private sector experience, Align Group Chief Executive Lynda Carroll is stepping away from her role as Independent Member of the New Zealand Army Leadership Board. Her time, she says, has been one of learning, of unique insights, and ultimately of belonging.

“My name was put forward to the Army Leadership Board as a potentially good fit, given my career and governance experience,” Lynda says.

With no prior experience of providing strategic insight to military matters, Lynda wasn’t quite sure what to expect when she stepped in to the role.

“Thinking back, I probably had the expectation that the Board would be a group of people who would not necessarily challenge their superiors, and who would perhaps be more autocratic than in other sectors or organisations.

In reality I could not have been more wrong. My fellow board members have extremely high emotional agility, are respectful, empathetic and robustly question decisions regardless of rank.”

Over her years providing an independent view to NZ Army’s strategic direction and decisions, Lynda has seen the impact of robust discussions held around the Board table. “In such a technically-oriented, career-service organisation, an Independent Director's role is often to ask those ‘why’ questions: Why do you do it that way? What would happen if you changed that approach? Have you thought about ..?”

“Happily, I have seen the impacts of those discussions, which is gratifying,” she says. “An example of this was in relation to NZ Army culture where the Army is adopting an inclusive approach to translating their values into straightforward, simple language that reflects the life of a soldier both on operations and at home.  This approach will support the values being soundly embedded across the organisation, and enable us to deliver on the Chief of Army's vision for a modern, agile, highly adaptive, light combat force.” 

As she steps down from her role as Independent Member, Lynda recommends anyone looking for a unique opportunity to shape the direction of New Zealand’s Army to put their hat in the ring.

“If you want to learn and contribute to highly strategic discussions and decision-making, and feel like you are making a difference, then put in your application,” Lynda says. “This has been a truly welcoming team and I am sad to be moving on - however after seven years it is time to allow fresh thinking onto the Board.”

New Zealand Army is currently seeking interested applicants for the role of Independent Member being vacated by Lynda. Information on the role and the application process can be found at https://jobs.govt.nz/jobs/NZ-DF123456(external link).

Lynda Carroll is the Deputy Chair of the NZ String Quartet and Chief Executive of Align Group Limited. She has worked in governance roles for over twenty years, and with Boards, CEOs and Senior Management on aligning strategy, culture, governance and performance in New Zealand and internationally for over thirty years.

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