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Issue: 30/11/2018

Proper governance now required

I was interested to read Ian Seath's excellent Friday Essay last week about governance. In these difficult times it was good to read an intelligently written article from someone who clearly knows what he is talking about.
It is clear that the Kennel Club in recent times has shown a failure of governance, otherwise there would not have been a Special General Meeting and the Chairman would not have had to stand down.
Mr Seath talks about different types of governance and gives examples outside the world of dogs where governance has clearly failed such as around the financial crisis of 2008 and the problems suffered by the charity Kids Company.
In my experience governance fails when the person or people in charge stop listening and surround themselves with people who will only agree with them.
Anybody who uses social media will know that most people will only receive information from people who share a similar viewpoint to their own. This may seem natural but you will only learn from confronting views that you may find challenging.
Bad leaders can get caught in similar silos and will not accept that perhaps there are views and ways of doing things that are different to their own. Anyone who is too dogmatic in the way that they lead will lose the support of the people who follow.
Which brings me to the KC and the way it was led. As far as I am aware there was no consultation about the JCF. There was the Chepstow debacle and the ridiculous decision to buy a Grouse moor. These decisions seemed to indicate that the governors did not care about the rank and file members.
Also, some of the disciplinary decisions they have made in the last couple of years upset a lot of people and it showed the KC was unprepared to listen.
Let's hope the new chairman and vice-chairman will be able to get hold of the club and govern it properly for the good of the dog world. We should not be fighting ourselves, we face too many enemies to do that. 
I was speaking to a middle-aged friend last week and they said, 'I think I will outlive dog shows.' We need the KC to be properly run so that they are wrong.
Yours etc,
Henry Wolf

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