EVOLVING CAPABILITIES OF THE BOARD


The starting point for evolving capabilities of the Board is a clear vision of what the executive team needs from its Board members. This is not about identifying one or two capabilities, but

instead being quite systematic about listening to both executive and non-executive directors about how these capabilities need to evolve in line with a corporate business plan. In our work with a FTSE 250 company, a clear set of attributes for non-executive directors emerged out of our discussions with the Board as a whole.

These include:

  • fresh thinking

  • a global mindset which brings into the boardroom experiences with different geographies and cultures as well as learnings from emerging markets which could benefit developed markets and vice versa

  • an executive career in a sector relevant to the one where the company already operates.

This experience is critical when supporting the executive team from a non-executive

perspective: the empathy of “I’ve been there before” is important. The most important decisions that a board has to make involve appointments to the executive team. Discussion of these appointments inevitably leads sooner or later to a wider discussion of succession planning. Here there is no need for the executive team to be defensive, Succession planning is a natural part of the business and good succession planning is closely linked to the fulfilment of a business plan over time.

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