Five skills to develop as a Non-Executive Director
What are considered to be the top five skills of a Non-Executive Director, and how can these areas be developed for professional excellence?
A company's Non-Executive Director is committed to shaping the strategy and direction of an organisation, sitting on the Board and advising on key decisions. Succession-planning, independent oversight and policy development are among the key responsibilities where a Non-Executive Director may have input.
1. Independent mindset
One of the most important things a Non-Executive Director can offer is an outside perspective. This is especially important for determining future business goals and developments. A Non-Executive Director should be able to separate themselves from the organisation and approach issues with a clear, unbiased view.
Often, a Non-Executive Director will have oversight of performance measurement and internal audit. As such, a high level of due diligence in performing their duties and staying informed of industry requirements is expected.
A broad knowledge of regulation and compliance, coupled with personal integrity and attention to detail, differentiates a great Non-Executive. CAs receive exclusive discounts on courses in 'Directors' Conduct Reporting' and 'Problems and pitfalls in corporate reporting and auditing'.
Being able to assess priorities, read the business environment and craft innovative solutions that have a long-term positive impact on operations is vital.
CA skills can be invaluable to this process and for monitoring the effectiveness of existing strategies. Learn more about strategic management with a dedicated professional development course offered to ICAS members.
4. Industry foresight
Keeping on top of disruptive technologies and other developments in the business / wider industry is essential for informed future-planning. A Non-Executive Director should be able to contribute to the debate with a clear idea of the challenges facing their company in the foreseeable future.
Agility and innovation are priority skills in a changing business environment. Creative thinking can provide unique insight and help break down legacy processes and mindsets to make an organisation adaptable for the future.
Creative leadership is an ever-evolving ability that can serve a Non-Executive Director well.