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Is Your Board Search Getting Results? 10 Tips To Help.

06 April 2016

Nominations committees need to know you can contribute in the context of the challenges, realities and future direction of their specific board.

The question becomes: “what can I add to the organisation as a non-executive director, that is not already covered by other board members?”

Given the competitiveness of directorships, it may be useful to go back to basics and do due diligence on your approach.

Here are my top 10 coaching tips:

  • Set clear goals for directorships over realistic timeframes and identify which gaps exist for further development
  • Reflect on the shifts involved in moving from executive to non-executive including the differences in authority, influence, control and oversight
  • Analyse the director vacancy landscape carefully to pinpoint where to focus, gaps in the market, where your skills are of real benefit, identify strong or weak ties; and where to network
  • Rethink the dynamics and collegiality of operating within and from the boardroom, the differing director styles you may encounter and your director type
  • Examine the strength of your board relevant capabilities and transferable skills such as strategy, sector knowledge, business models, governance, performance levers, stakeholder agendas, sub-committee specialty, collective decision-making and systems thinking
  • Consider where you sit in the skills matrix and in the sub-committees
  • Develop a rationale for your seat at the board table and then use it to shape your professional board resume and cover letter
  • Plan how to extend your reach and reputation. Gaining visibility and messaging your aspirations requires considered thought. Get noticed without becoming pushy or coming across as desperate. Concentrate on those activities that matter most and maximise your ‘return on effort’
  • Know how to navigate the nominations process including preparation for interviews
  • Use a mentor as a sounding board to stress test your thinking and tactics.
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