The role of boards and the expectations for directors and executives have never played such an important role in the success of an organization. Board composition and the integration of new board leaders have been identified as a critical issue for boards of directors for 2017.
With new concerns coming to light such as the rise of sophisticated cyber-attacks, governance practices to implement in times of disruption, embracing digital change or evaluating the board, succession planning and welcoming new talented directors among board members have all become indisputable elements in matters concerning boards of directors.
Organizations need to focus on bringing in new experience, expertise and diversity to renew board composition. Regular assessments of all board members should be implemented to determine which directors are excellent candidates for boards, and shareholders should be aware of the importance of board composition and board renewal. They could then replace directors who are not contributing. There are several steps to implement in order to effectively target and recruit talented new directors.
Talented new Board leaders: what is the best way to find and recruit them?
First of all, you need to outline the role of the potential new director. To do so, you should set your strategy up in a clear manner and recognize your strengths, weaknesses, but also the objectives and concerns you want to focus on. Once you’ve identified your chosen areas of expertise, the advice, guidance and improvement you seek, you will know which experts your boardroom needs.
Then, you need to ask yourself the following question: Who do I want on my board? Every board of directors knows that selecting the right board members is a challenging decision that all organizations have to address. The director you want on your board needs to understand the company culture, be a mentor and a guide for other executives, drive your strategy effectively and integrate other board members easily. Many criteria need to be considered when looking for a new director:
- A director with different perspectives. Your boardroom needs to have a variety of opinions to make better decisions.
- A director that will reassess your assumptions. Your board needs to have members who confront strategic challenges or difficult decisions to embrace a new direction.
- A director with board experience. Having someone who already had to overcome the challenges you may face will be a real asset for your board.
- A director with strong networks. The relationships and resources of your new board members can be a useful contribution to the success of your organization.
- A director with different skills. Selecting someone who has skills that your board doesn’t yet have in order to face crisis effectively can be very useful. The next generation of board leaders could narrow the gap.
Finding these resources can be a difficult task but there are many options out there for organizations that are seeking new directors:
- Industries related to your organization
- An experienced CEO with a track record of success
- Professional organizations focusing on corporate governance
- Trade magazines that are an unstoppable resource for finding a good director
Adding a young director to your board: more than just an alternative
Organizations are now focusing on renewing their boards so they can efficiently handle future issues they may encounter and are undertaking their digitization, something that is no longer an option, but an essential element of success. With the advent of board portals or the recent emerging use of artificial intelligence within the boardroom as well as the organization as a whole, the corporate landscape has evolved greatly and having directors who progressed within this technology-fueled business will put your organization a step ahead of the others.
Embracing board diversity at different levels will bring strong benefits to boards. Studies have already shown that having more women on boards means better performance for the organization and its board. Enticing young directors into the boardroom also provides perks for the company. They are a bridge to the next generation of community leaders and help to ensure the future of the organization. They also create a diversity of experience and skills and can use new technologies to spread the organization’s message and its work, but it also gives the organization access to expertise on issues and challenges facing youth and the things that matter to them.
Strong culture within the board, a focus on ensuring company strategy, board composition and succession planning represent current factors, which once they are well managed, contribute to an efficient board and the longevity of the organization. Being well prepared and equipped and having the right members on their board can help to achieve this goal.