- Studies have shown that there is a strong correlation between the level of continuous development a director enjoys and their effectiveness on the board.
- Boards that spend time in thinking and learning mode tend to communicate more deeply and are more candid with each other about the topics that really matter.
- Board members should not only receive proper induction upon appointment, but also strive for at least 12 hours of board development per year.
Most codes of good practice in corporate governance require board members to undergo periodic skills upgrading to improve governance practices within the board itself and in the interests of the board. business.
Yet a very small percentage of boards can attest that their members are receiving sufficient training. Studies have shown that there is a strong correlation between the level of continuous development a director enjoys and their effectiveness on the board.
Forward-looking boards have understood the concept of leveraging long-term talent development efforts. They understand that opportunities for personal and professional development help broaden an individual’s experience. To this end, board members should not only receive proper initiation upon appointment, but also strive to ensure at least 12 hours of board development per year, which is the minimum. recommended by most corporate governance codes.
For newly appointed directors who have insufficient experience of working on a board, good training ensures that they receive general instructions on how to actively participate in discussions at a meeting and in the work of the board in general. .
Induction helps a board member understand the procedures of the board they sit on as well as their legal responsibilities as a director.
Learning for a board member should be a lifelong activity and not just a preserve for board members.
Senior directors benefit from development programs that equip them with skills and also ensure that they receive regular information on issues relevant to the business of the organization, and changes in laws and regulations, including policies. and government accounting practices.
The search for training opportunities should not be entirely the responsibility of the Chairman of the Board of Directors, the Company Secretary, or a committee mandated to provide professional development.
A skills needs assessment should be conducted for boards and individual directors to guide the development of an annual development program, which, among other training, would ensure directors are up to date with professional development ongoing in their respective professional organizations.
The board should ensure that training sessions attended by directors are highly interactive and include both structured learning and development programs based on innovative governance thinking, and unstructured programs where members discuss and learn about emerging or relevant corporate governance issues.
Investing in board development helps directors gain a more strategic perspective and become team players instead of being bogged down by the details. Taking time for board development not only allows directors to interact in a less structured environment, but it also helps ensure they are a team.
Additionally, boards that spend time in thinking and learning mode tend to communicate more in depth and are more candid with each other about the topics that really matter, thus increasing the level of trust which in turn increases the performance of the board. ‘team.
Finally, well-organized training programs could help to “sustain” the board.
When a board develops its learning and development plan, it typically performs a skills audit and compares the skills available to those likely to be needed in the future to add value to the implementation of the strategic plan.
Any gaps identified in the skills audit can provide insight into the board renewal process, and guide the recruitment of new board members, or inform the training needs of existing directors.
Empowering administrators to work at their highest level is good for an organization.
Management should therefore not only regard director training as another budget item, but also consider it for the rewards it promises.