What To Expect From Your Non-Executive Director
Being a non-executive director (NED) is a highly demanding role that has evolved dramatically in recent years’.
The current market conditions mean that there are more NED’s than there are positions available.
Thinking short-term will always lead to complications further down the line. In order to hire the right non-exec for your business it is important to focus on what your company will need over the years to come, what challenges may arise in 5-10 years’ time and whether the NED be able to guide you in the right direction.
That all sounds great on paper, but how do you know that your current NED’s are adding value to your business?
Responsibilities & challenges
Your NED takes their responsibilities seriously, they are not afraid to challenge the status quo with intelligent questions and provide feedback in a constructive manner.
They can say the unthinkable and help the executive team to unscramble the issues.
They work independently in an advisory capacity, but collectively with other board members to reach the shared aims of the business.
A great NED has empathy and can relate to and understand employees and the team around them.
Getting results isn’t about aggressive sales strategies, instead, it’s about learning how to get the most out of a team and develop efficient systems.
Credibility & Experience
Your NED’s credibility and reputation will enhance your Board.
They have an abundance of knowledge, can share their perspectives and apply them to enhance the business. Based on their experience they’ll ask strategic questions to help paint a bigger picture.
A NED doesn’t need technical knowledge or years of experience in a specific field, they need to understand how to build a successful team that gets results.
It's their job to support in an advisory capacity, provide a business with a different perspective and draw on their expertise and experience to support strategic decision making.
They should be able to fulfil a variety of roles and provide insight into several different areas of the business simultaneously.
While their responsibilities differ from an executive director their legal rights don't, so it's important they have a clear understanding of what is expected of them.
Connections & Network
Your NED will be well-connected and be able make high quality introductions to expand the group network and increase referrals. Sourcing new connections through strategic networking is crucial as it gives the NED the ability to source information from other sectors and apply it to their own.
Your NED should be well-positioned to offer a wealth of knowledge and experience, whilst expanding the businesses’ network and reach.
A NED role cannot be half-hearted, you should expect commitment from the beginning in order for them to learn the business and guide it effectively.
They must be open to meeting everyone in the business, middle managers, frontline staff and customers to get a real handle on the culture and how the business operates.
They will need to be prepared to invest a lot of private time to execute this role properly and to build strong relationships with your colleagues.
A NED needs to be able to strike the right balance between knowing a business inside-out, and ensuring they remain as an objective.