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Companies Neglect Board Development


Companies spend more effort on recruiting and developing graduates than their board members, according to management development group Roffey Park.

The company said that new Board members should have the ability to challenge, a ‘can do, will do’ attitude, technical expertise and an affinity with the organisation’s culture and values.

While new non-executive directors should be given a thorough induction, as well as training and coaching. Organisations should also have appropriate, Board-specific performance management processes in place to evaluate Board performance.

At a conference on the dynamics and effectiveness of British Boardrooms John Gilkes, Chief Executive of Roffey Park said: "Some organisations put more effort into recruiting graduates than Board members. The challenge is to develop a cohesive team at the top that is strong enough to withstand any domination from any one powerful individual."

The conference also highlighted that Boards should foster a culture of open debate, using resistance as an opportunity to learn.

"Board members have a duty to challenge each other constructively," said John Gilkes. "Dissent on the Board is important, otherwise overassertive individuals can dominate the proceedings. This culture of openness at Board level can then be cascaded down, resulting in a more effective and productive organisation."


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