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Board Member Selection & Appointment

03 Sep 2014

Potential new Board members need careful vetting for their suitability to fit the culture of your organisation and if you want to improve the effectiveness of your Board. Taking extreme care in the selection and appointment of a new Board Member is as important as that for a senior Manager.

New appointees also need checking on their suitability and potential commitment to the responsibilities and duties as a Board Member and, most importantly, provide a balance to the skills or attributes that the Board needs to best fulfil its duties. Sometimes over looked, to a Board being successful, are personal qualities and abilities rather than the existence of personal friendship or knowledge of the applicant. A sound appointment process helps ensure a better appointment is made. 

Aspects to consider when selecting a new Board Member:

  • Having a new appointee who will challenge any current ‘group think’ could be very valuable
  • Belief and strong interest in an organisation’s vision should be a major selection criteria
  • That any new Board Member has sufficient time for another major commitment
  • A belief and commitment to the ethos and values of the organisation is vital
  • The Board’s selection process should conform to its policy on the composition of the Board to achieve the diversity of backgrounds, skills and experience etc desired to achieve a balanced Board

The appointment process should not only include personal interviews, but detailed referee checking that includes full due diligence on an applicant’s background.

A sound safety mechanism that can be adopted is to make all initial appointments to the Board for an initial first term of two years only as it can be more easily extended than an open ended appointment be terminated if the need arises.

Great board appointments take time and care.

Tags: Board Member, Boards, Governance

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