The best board member training available

by Jo Ellis on Dec 21, 2022

best board member training

Walking into board meetings unprepared and unknowledgeable about corporate governance is harmful to you and annoying for your fellow board members. It would help if you were well-prepared.

As anyone who has ever been on a board knows, serving as part of an organisation’s governance structure can be a time-intensive proposition.

Board members must adhere to many obligations, including attending board meetings, participating in director training, having countless conversations with other board members and staff, and investing time in preparing for meetings.

As a result, some people need to possess the time and energy for a board position that the responsibility truly deserves.

Remembering what it takes to be part of a company’s corporate governance structure can take time and effort. However, these benefits are significant and should not be taken for granted.

Critical networking opportunities

Simply put, serving on a board can be a brilliant career move. Depending on the type of board a person serves on, board members may meet industry leaders, sitting with them at board meetings and serving with them on subcommittees. In addition, board membership often has specific requirements for event attendance. This means that a person who serves on a board will attend important events that will give them critical networking opportunities. In many cases, a person who serves on a board will find expanded career opportunities and may have the chance to work for the organisation in question.

Board member training is critical to getting the most out of these networking opportunities. With proper training, a person can better understand their role and ensure they are personally getting the most out of board membership. It can sometimes be challenging to balance personal benefit and corporate responsibility while serving on a board. Still, the proper training can ensure that a person develops the tactics necessary to manage this balancing act.

Read more: Director training for next-generation directors. 

Better understanding of the role

Anyone interested in serving on a corporate board of directors must ask themselves some critical questions:

• Do they know what is involved in serving on the board?

• Do they understand the time commitment necessary and what they need to do aside from attending board meetings?

• Do they know specific tactics to prepare, serve, and speak at board meetings?

• Are there specific financial responsibilities? 

• Are board members expected to mentor staff, bring in new business, or sign contracts that require particular conflict of interest actions

• Are there additional responsibilities that a board member will need to fulfil but may not be able to? 

These are not minor issues. In some cases, the answer to one of these questions can potentially prohibit a board member from serving or at least being able to do a specific role.

However, a board can only address these issues through proper training. Proper training can give an individual a much greater understanding of the role they will be expected to adhere to as part of a corporate board. Training can also answer common questions, give a more comprehensive overview of someone’s specific board responsibilities, and ensure that a person is aware of any potential pitfalls or dangers that come with board membership. 

Read more: Become a leader in ESG.

Greater insight and experience at work

In many ways, serving on a board is similar to any business responsibility. A person will need to do the best job possible and serve the interests of the organisation in question. Appropriate time and effort can ensure that an individual does the best job possible.

The benefits gained from board membership are not limited to board membership. A board member should question company activities, help a business stick to its mission, and learn to review information in front of them to gain a comprehensive picture of all business activities. In addition, serving on a board means that an individual understands the right way to ask questions, builds necessary relationships with key stakeholders, and understands how to manage conflict.

These skills are valuable for the corporate boardroom and helpful to someone’s career. As such, corporate training and board membership come with invaluable skills that can be deployed at someone’s place of work and advance an entire occupational trajectory, not just serve at a board meeting.

Read more: What happens when management loses faith in the board? 

Enhanced legal protections

An ugly truth in today’s world is that some businesses commit crimes. Sometimes, it’s intentional; other times, these legal issues result from simple neglect. For example, current law in the United Kingdom holds that a corporation must take all appropriate and necessary steps to prevent such crimes. Boards must ensure that the company in question operates within the confines of the law. Failure to do this can result in significant legal penalties for all parties involved, including board members. 

Recent events in the United Kingdom have demonstrated that board members are not immune from legal liability if crimes are committed under their watch. That’s not to say that a board member will go to jail if the company they help operate does something illegal. However, in the event of gross negligence, a board member may find themselves in legal trouble.

There are many ways to reduce the chances of legal complications, however rare they are. For example, board member training can give someone a better idea of potential legal pitfalls, what to do if they suspect illegal activity and the best way to manage these issues.

Read more: The pros and cons of virtual board meetings. 

Preparing for life in the boardroom

Serving as part of a business’s corporate governance structure can have numerous benefits, but only if someone engages in proper board member training that can allow a person to best serve on the board.

At the Corporate Governance Institute, we offer a diploma in corporate governance and can help someone get the director training they need. Download the brochure below for more information on how to earn this diploma.

Diploma in Corporate Governance

Enhance your career as a director. Develop the practical knowledge, insight and global mindset to be a great board director.

Learn more

Diploma in Corporate Governance

Enhance your career as a director. Develop the practical knowledge, insight and global mindset to be a great board director.

Learn more

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