Caroline Gourlay (firstname.lastname@example.org) makes some interesting points in her latest blog, Need a NED? Here’s how to avoid the pitfalls, about the need for boards to fully understand the role of the Non-Executive Director before making an appointment.
The NED role is very different from that of an executive director and whilst being an experienced executive is almost a pre-requisite for being an effective NED (there are exceptional people who make very good NEDs without having been executives) the role requires a set of skills which not all good executives possess.
The question that Caroline addresses is how can a board tell that a prospective NED is going to be an effective member of the board?
Key to making the right appointment, in addition to a thorough understanding of the NED role, is a process that is probably not the traditional 50 minute interview but one which fully explores the ability of the candidate to fulfil the role effectively