Director development for directors, chairmen and company boards

board and director development and training

Director development: for managers who think they ought to be directors and directors who still think like managers.

You move up and up in your career. And suddenly you are a director. You've got your directorship. You're on the board of directors. And everything is different. What director training did you get?

And as a successful director, you are appointed chairman. You've got the chairmanship. Again, different skills needed. Where do you turn?

The move from being a manager to a directorship - or from director to chairman - is a more than a change in responsibility, it is a major change in behaviour and identity. For most of your career you will have been becoming more expert in a narrower field, or focusing only on the interests of a single department. Suddenly, you need to have equal responsibility for all departments and to monitor a very wide and general environment, both inside the organisation and externally.

Formal director training might help you to understand the legal implications of your new role and the responsibilities of company boards. But to help you make the behavioural changes, the best solution is personal support through executive coaching:-

  • What are the challenges of the new role?
  • What do your old colleagues expect of you now?
  • How do you handle the change of status and relationships?
  • What do your new board room colleagues expect of you?
  • What do customers, suppliers and other stakeholders now expect?
  • How do you handle dual responsibilities as head of department and board member?
  • What practical steps should you take to improve your awareness, develop new skills, establish yourself in your new role?

Transition coaching, both before and after your appointment will help you make a successful move into this new role.

Directors - improve your performance against external standards

The Institute of Directors publication Standards for the Board provides an excellent basis for a coaching programme. It is a benchmark standard which provides guidelines of good practice, including statutory requirements, for company directors, which should inform the way in which you collectively and individually conduct board business and discharge your responsibilities. It provides a framework within which company boards can develop, maintain and review their corporate governance policies and practices. And it helps boards improve their own performance and, through this, the success of their companies.

Sensible application of Standards will clarify your board's tasks and the way you conduct your affairs, and help you make many of your important decisions. It can be used as a tool for re-appraising what the board does and how it does it, and for taking actions which might otherwise not have been taken.

Standards also highlights the attributes required of individual directors if a board is to operate successfully, and can be used to assist in the selection, induction, training and development of directors.

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