Welcome to Module 1: Your Board Opportunities…
the start of your journey to the Boardroom!
In this module…
You will learn why:
– now is a great time to find a Board role
– you have the opportunity to sit on a Board
Your Board Opportunities
The journey you are about to embark on is an exciting one and the end result of arriving in the boardroom is a privilege.
There are many stages to the journey of a non-executive director and these are outlined below:
To give you insight into these phases, they can be described in the following way:
• Curious: This is a stage of uncertainty. You may know of boards but are not exactly sure what they do or if they’re something you can get involved with.
• Aspiring: This is a phase of awareness. You know what boards are and what they do. You know you want to get on one and contribute to creating great outcomes but don’t yet feel ready to step up.
• Prospective: This phase is about preparation and positioning. You know about boards, want to be on one and are ready to take on a board role. You are actively seeking board opportunities.
• New: This stage recognises you as duly appointed to a board. At this point, you have limited board experience, perhaps only on one board.
• Experienced: This is a phase which acknowledges that you have undertaken a number of years sitting on and contributing to one or more boards.
• Established: This stage recognises your diverse board experience and substantial practise as a director for many years across different types of boards.
Where do you sit?
Now is the time…
Congratulations on taking the steps to learn and understand more about Boards, Committees, Directorships and the opportunities available to you. Importantly, it doesn’t matter whether you are an aspiring or emerging Director looking for your first Board role, or an experienced Director looking for a new Directorship.
For many years, Boards have been perceived as exclusive, reserved only for mates, the elite or retired executives. The fact is that boardrooms are now becoming a place of greater diversity, realising the benefits of broader skills in decision-making.
Recently, there has been a movement toward gender equality and mandates on Boards, recognising the benefits of technical input, cultural contributions and acknowledgement of age perspectives. These are all opening the door wider for anyone to consider a seat at the Board table.
So much has changed over the past couple of years and will continue to do so. It is now 2020 and there has never been a better time in history for anyone to consider a Board role and to contribute to creating a more sustainable future. Even more so given the outbreak of a virus worldwide, it is expected there will be a higher demand for good decision-making and greater leadership from boards.
Take a look at the following post for a perspective on this turning point. What are your thoughts?
Developing the new 2020+ vision…
Here’s a perspective for you to ponder:
It wasn’t that long ago we entered the new year armed with a great vision. Perhaps not perfect sight but 2020 was good enough. Then in the blink of an eye, our vision has gone blurry, shakey or disappeared completely.
Our 2020 vision has been destroyed quickly. Firstly (in Australia) was environmental destruction, and now social destruction and economic destruction.
Our vision has been disrupted and is being corrected. A shift of clarity and perspective in order to regain our sight and improve the vision beyond 2020. Giving us better alignment, better focus and greater peripheral awareness to see the bigger picture.
Such a correction is like any remodelling …there is loss in order to gain. Deconstruction first to enable effective reconstruction to take place.
Implementing the new 2020+ vision and model will take time. Fuzziness and black spots will dominate the picture for some time but this will settle with balance and a clearer image will emerge.
Whilst some may prefer the old model and the initial 2020 vision, the new model and improved 2020+ vision should allow us to see a bigger and better long-term picture.
– Stacey Daniel, March 2020
To understand more about why now is a good time to consider a Board role, watch the following video.
Task 1: Research report
To provide some further background on Board opportunities and diversity, have a read of the following research report undertaken by McKinsey & Company, released a couple of years ago.
Task 2: Survey article
To provide some further background on Board opportunities and diversity, have a read of the following article released last year in the Harvard Business Review.
You’ve got this…
One of the main reasons why you’re undertaking this course is because you’re a motivated individual who wants to make a difference. The fact that you’re investing in yourself and your future, is a testament to your personal qualities and commitment to achieving a goal of being on a Board.
There are many different types of Boards and Committees across all industries and sectors. Each Board is looking for a range of skilled personnel as Directors or Members with different sets of attributes. Together they collectively make up the skill mix needed by the Board. (We will explore this more later).
You possess a range of skills and attributes unique to you. The journey ahead will draw out all that makes you YOU, to develop your personal value proposition, outlining what you can offer a Board. That way, you can streamline finding the right opportunity to suit you.
Before you move onto that, there are two tasks I’d like you do undertake. Firstly, reinforce to yourself that you are suitable for boardwork, and also to be clear on what you want out of this journey. Both of these will begin to help you get your head into the right mindset for the journey.
Please watch the following brief video for my other key message for you.
Task 3: Why?
Also important out of this module, you need to understand why you’re keen to get on a board.
To help you get your mind around why you’ve embarked on this journey, write down some ideas or questions like:
– ‘I want to make a difference?’
– ‘I want to make better decisions for society?’
– ‘I want a change in direction?’
– ‘I want to advance myself?’
– ‘My skills are really valuable?’
– ‘My insights and perspectives are unique?’
These will help you to refine, define and strengthen your Why?
Note: You will find the Why? worksheet in your workbook. Use this to make your notes.
In order to get the most out of this course and your journey, you will want to ensure you continually apply yourself as needed.
Commit to remaining positive.
Commit to open-mindedness, to enable you to adapt.
Commit a steady long-term journey, in the right direction that is true for and to you.
Task 4: Affirmations
Most importantly out of this module, you should gain a new perception about Boards and the opportunities available to you.
To keep you on track and stop you slipping into old thoughts, write down some affirmations and place them somewhere helpful to help you on a daily basis. Write some words like:
– ‘I can be a Director on a Board!’
– ‘There is a Board or Committee role out there ready that really needs my skills!’
– ‘I can make a difference to…[insert what suits]!’
Note: You will find the Affirmation worksheet in your workbook. Use this to make your notes.
Opportunity dances with those already on the dancefloor!
– H Jackson Brown, Jr.
Your personal opportunity…
The outcomes of this module is to provide and equip you with four important strengths to help you to break down barriers and build a solid foundation. These four tools will enable you to move through this course and venture along this new journey you’ve embarked on.
The four key outcomes of Module 1 are:
1. Mindset: Establishing and maintaining an open mindset to allow you to embrace and process new information, to grow and develop, and to see new opportunities for yourself and the world around you.
2. Understanding: Knowing that Boards and Committees are opportunities for anyone to consider. That Boards are no longer perceived as places only for others.
3. Confidence: You whole-heartedly know that the opportunity of Boards truly exists for you, and that you have the skills and qualities to be on a Board or Committee.
4. Commitment: You are willing to put in the energy and take the time necessary to achieve your goal.
Well done on working your way through Module 1 toward realising your Board opportunities.
To ensure you’ve captured the outcomes of this first step, a downloadable checklist is attached below for you to mark your progress. This will allow you to reflect during your journey, keep you on track and make sure you’re heading in the right direction.
You will find the Module 1 Checklist in your workbook.