Recently, an article was posted on the ICSA: The Governance Institute website, describing 5 essential qualities of a non-executive director. The author lists the following five 'core qualities' and suggests these need to form the basis of evaluations when companies are appointing non-executive directors:
This is a good list and several of the items are intuitively appealing. However, having read the article a few times now and compared these suggestions with the findings from my own research and others elsewhere, I am not sure all of these qualities are actually 'essential'. This set me thinking, leading to some supplementary questions:
Though progress has been made in recent years, these questions demonstrate our knowledge abut boards is far from complete. We still have much to learn about how boards actually work; how they should work; and, crucially, whether boards can influence company performance through the decisions made in the boardroom (or not). If answers to these very difficult questions can be found, they will probably have significant implications including perhaps to a new understanding of corporate governance and updated guidance for board practices, director recruitment and on-going director development. While some directors may struggle to come to terms with such implications, the flow-on effects for sustainable business performance, economic growth and societal well-being are likely to be significant.
Thoughts on corporate governance, strategy and the craft of board work; our place in the world; and, other things that catch my attention.