Non Executive Appointments
A Chairperson is considered the single biggest determinant of a Board’s effectiveness. A Chairperson has the primary role in determining an organisation’s strategic focus as well as setting the tone for communications and leading its composition.
It is a demanding and challenging role that requires a skill set that is different in many respects from those of a successful executive career. Exceptional CEO’s or MD’s don’t necessarily make good Chairpersons. Equally the best Chairpersons may not have been CEO’s themselves.
Whilst sector experience can be valuable, it is ultimately a less important determinant of success in the role than having the right characteristics to be a great Chairperson. Combining outstanding business judgement with a high degree of emotional intelligence, sophisticated team leadership skills, calmness under pressure and the integrity to put ‘company’ before ‘self’.
When working with Boards on Chairperson succession, we place particular emphasis on defining the candidate brief – ensuring alignment around the key business challenges faced, the expectations of the Chairperson in terms of role and time commitment, and the credentials and capabilities that will be required.
We then work on a highly confidential basis to identify and assess potential candidates and help our clients to manage the critical and sensitive process of selecting the right successor – whether from the existing Board or from outside.
The expectations placed on Boards by both shareholders and external commentators are higher than they have ever been. It is important to work with a firm that has experience of and understands the unique pressures and challenges of the boardroom.
We have considerable experience in finding Chairpersons and Non-Executive Directors. We have worked at Board level for many multinationals, FTSE businesses and SME’s, as well and family run and start-up businesses. Also our experience in appointing Non Executives extends to not for profit and public sector organisations.
We have a particular reputation for and expertise in appointing high quality women to Boards, frequently helping them to secure their first Non-Executive role.
In most cases, we have long-standing Board relationships with our clients, enabling us to bring real insight to their particular needs and challenges and to place specific assignments in the context of broader thinking about board effectiveness and longer-term succession planning.