News Analysis

Five reasons qualified board members deliver better results

by Stephen Conmy on Sep 9, 2021


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Boards across most western economies and industrialised nations are currently on a hiring spree.

Nonetheless, there’s a difference between sitting in a boardroom and being an influential director with the right mindset.

Having an effective board can make a big difference in the performance of an organisation.

The skills for becoming an effective director include having the right mentality, commitment, and curiosity.

There’s certainly plenty of room for directors to improve; directors themselves admit as much.

David Duffy, CEO of the Corporate Governance Institute and an experienced board member and Chair, says, “directors need to keep their skills up-to-date in the fast-changing world we live in”.

Here are five ways that qualified board members, first-timers or otherwise, are more effective:

1: They come prepared

Qualified directors understand how a good board meeting should run.

As one example, qualified board members appreciate the value and function of the board book, a package of material that contains financial statements, strategy notes, HR decisions, and other critical information.

A good board member knows how to read the book and attend meetings in a prepared state.

High-performing directors want to ensure that they are well-prepared for the boardroom without being educated on other people’s time.

2: The questions they ask are smart and intelligent

The board should ask questions to ensure the firm is living up to its outlined purpose and values and following through on its strategy.

In addition to the question itself, the tone of the question is crucial. During meetings, executives and directors should be able to exchange ideas by asking open-ended questions.

3: They can cultivate each other’s skills

The best directors network with one another and with directors at other firms, which can improve knowledge and skill sets for everyone. Qualified directors learn how to network and build sustainable relationships.

4: They understand they shouldn’t try to run the company

Qualified directors understand their roles. You’re a director. You aren’t management. You are not one of the company’s executives. It is the job of the board to advise the CEO. Asking good questions rather than dictating strategy is the key to success.

5: They know that committee membership is crucial

A director must understand the business of the company. The best way to learn more about these intricacies is to join one of the board’s committees, such as the audit or finance committee.

“Having a specific task and responsibility as a committee member increases the accountability of individual directors. The board as a whole can become more accountable by separating the outside directors from management for certain decisions made by committees,” says David W Duffy, CEO of the Corporate Governance Institute.

Stand out from the crowd

If you are applying for a role on a board, having a Diploma in Corporate Governance shows you are committed and prepared.

Did you know, less than one percent of people sitting on boards across the globe have a qualification in Corporate Governance?

Why not fast-track your way to a board position?

The Corporate Governance Institute’s Bootcamp provides you with the tools, resources, and expertise to qualify as a director with much greater speed.

The Bootcamp is an immersive, one-week learning experience, and what we have discovered is that participants develop close professional relationships with their fellow students.

There has never been a more important time to network, and the Bootcamp will allow you to meet like-minded, ambitious directors.

Learn more about fast-tracking your career as a director.

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