Strategies to Prepare Yourself for Board Service


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What’s going on in the world of consultants searching to fill board seats and what are they looking for in director candidates?
Columbia Business School recently hosted a panel event, which featured Joe Griesedieck, from Korn Ferry, and Lloyd Campbell, from Spencer Stuart.

Watch the full video here.

 Click to View Board Seat Video 

Here are a few of the stand-out recommendations from the panel event:

Wait till you’re ready. Before you can join a board, you have to have something that you can contribute and you must be ready to handle the spotlight and accountability. Joining a board not something you want to do for economic reasons.
Prepare for changing composition of boards. Boards today have changed significantly when compared to 5-10 years ago. One of the major differences is the more modern issues surrounding CEO and management succession. Another is the added risk that companies face, which did not exist years ago. Companies now face financial, economic and environmental risks. In addition, the war for talent has become a front-running concern for boards.
Get ready for technology and social. Boards now have to know how companies can use tech and social to reduce costs and built revenue. Many boards and senior management teams are having difficulties doing this due to lack of experience in the technology field or function. There is an ever-increasing demand for new tech-savvy board members.
Highlight your diversity. Not just diversity of gender or ethnicity, but also your experience and geographic diversity. Boards are now being much more deliberate about the type of people they’re searching for on boards. How do you fit into the “board puzzle?”
Prepare the key competencies and skills you will need. Board members need integrity above all, courage (they need to be willing to step forward and voice their opinions or persuade the CEO), industry experience, specific functional knowledge (to be a part of the strategic puzzle of the board) and people management skills.
Take these steps today.
1. Get to know the industry you’re interested in.
2. Let senior management know that you’re interested in being on a board and request exposure to the company’s current board.
3. Network! Ask your current CEO for a recommendation to search consultants they know. Half of board appointments come through search firms and the other half are through the network of the board members.
4. Start with a small private company or not-for-profit board to get your initial experience.


About BlueSteps
BlueSteps is the exclusive service of the AESC that puts senior executives on the radar screen of over 8,000 executive search professionals in more than 75 countries. Be visible, and be considered for 90,000+ opportunities handled by AESC search firms every year. Find out more at www.BlueSteps.com.
About the Association of Executive Search Consultants
The Association of Executive Search Consultants (AESC) is the worldwide professional association for the retained executive search and leadership consulting industry. The AESC promotes the highest professional standards in retained executive search and leadership consulting through its industry recognized Code of Ethics and Professional Practice Guidelines. The AESC also serves to broaden public understanding of the retained executive search and leadership consulting process and acts as an advocate for the interests of its member firms.

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