Addressing the ‘Elephant in the Boardroom’

Boards and businesses thrive best when difficult conversations are part of strategic planning, however, knowing that considerable time and effort (and often confrontation!) will be needed can be rather off-putting.

Amanda Santos says addressing the elephant in the room needs to happen at a board level before the businesses’ strategic plans are created.


Engaging a person outside of the organisation to help guide the Board make its decisions, ensuring a holistic approach to designing a plan, and encouraging as many people as possible have input, will create a living, breathing document that will shape a positive future for your business.

A great strategic plan is about more than just a glossy document, it considers the full range of issues (good and bad) facing a business and signposts a clear way ahead for everyone but is nimble enough to adapt to any changes.
— Amanda Santos, Founder


Amanda Santos calls this opening the can of worms that everyone has put a lid on, and says results come quickly once the can of worms are on the table and the team works to clean the mess.

No business is straightforward once you lift the hood - there is often a jumble of issues to work through, and it can be hard to pin down precisely what you need to do. It can be even harder to define what success looks like when strategic planning becomes an annual conversation, rather than part of your everyday decisions – using your plan to guide your response to issues as they crop up will ensure you stay on track. My approach to strategic planning is slightly different as it encourages collaboration across the board including: A Board review, conflict or issue resolution, and regular meetings where all options (both popular or unpopular) are discussed. By not taking the easy road, a new way of thinking will become apparent to decision-makers.

— Amanda Santos, Founder

This approach seems to be working for Amanda's clients. Founding Director of Wellington owned business Tekron, Brian Smellie says that Amanda’s approach has been key in driving business success for his 20 year old company.

Tekron International Ltd has a history of having success in manufacturing and exporting high tech timing products around the world - having garnered a number of business and innovation awards over the years. However, in more recent times, the board has recognised the need to bring in “new blood” to take the company to the next level on the international stage. Amanda Santos took up her role as CEO of Tekron in April 2016. Since that time she has set about the process of totally rebuilding the tech company that I founded back in 2002. In little more than 18 months, the transformation is all-encompassing, across sales and marketing, office systems, R & D and production manufacturing.
— Brian Smellie, Founding Director, Tekron International Ltd. 

Amanda Santos is a high-growth CEO, sales expert and sought-after business advisor, providing governance and strategic support to over 100 enterprises within New Zealand.

Currently the Chief Executive of Tekron, a global market-leader in high-precision atomic and GPS precision timing hardware for power, telecommunications and enterprise industries, Amanda is unafraid to break the traditional CEO stereotype.

Often asked to speak as well as lead interactive business workshop sessions for NZ organisations, Amanda’s track record for accelerating businesses has seen her publicly acclaimed as a finalist in the 2017 Women of Influence Awards, as well as a finalist in the Business Category for the prestigious 2017 Welly Awards.

For strategic planning advice and to enquire about Amanda’s new Board Workshop Series, you can get in touch with Amanda Santos here