According to CEO’s, some of the most worrisome issues that businesses are currently facing include; recruitment and retention, managing growth and change, government regulation, increasing costs, technological disruption, fostering innovation and understanding millennials.
Therefore, it is important to take a step back and look at what skills the business needs to move forward. If a business finds that the skills needed to tackle their key issues are not readily available amongst the leadership, it is crucial that they are introduced through an effective recruitment and people development strategy. Whilst some leaders look at the topic of board restructure with a negative view, is it in fact a great opportunity for diversification.
Moon Consulting’s position in the market, and our status as trusted partner to our clients, means that we are seeing first-hand how Chair’s and CEO’s are looking to actively change board structure to create a board which is diverse in experience, culture, age and gender.
And the reason for doing this? When we asked a cross-section of Chair’s and CEO’s why they have looked to create a more diverse board, they cited several key reasons including:
A range of backgrounds and experience can lead to better decision making
Your board will be agile and able to manage change
You will tackle issues in different ways and disrupt the status quo
It will improve your employer brand by setting an example that will filter through your organisation
The real world is diverse, and so are your customers and clients
In addition to these reasons, a well-balanced board is clearly in a stronger position to ask probing questions and tackle challenging business issues, both of which are essential to good corporate governance and risk management.
Indeed, recent search campaigns that Moon Consulting has undertaken have highlighted how gender diversification at board level can be beneficial, particularly where there is also sector synergy.
Our experience of building boards from the ground up means that we have seen how a more holistic approach can be utilised to develop a team which is both functional and diverse. However, rather than adding board members simply to fill a diversity quota, each position should be considered both in terms of what the executive can bring to board discussions, and in terms of how that executive will complement the skills sets of other board members.
Executives are influenced by different attributes including functional and industry experience, their education and achievements, and their gender and ethnic background, which will in turn influence, to some extent, their personality, interest and values. These attributes combine to shape how individuals respond to others, and how they identify opportunity, assess risk and solve problems. All of which, are key when considering the best mix of candidates for a diverse board.
Therefore, to create a truly modern board, a recruitment model should be adopted which takes a multi-dimensional view and identifies the full range of variables which need be considered to optimise the collective skills and dynamics of the board, and then utilises these in the candidate selection process. This will result in a board which can draw upon a wider range of perspectives and has more rounded experience and knowledge.
There is without a doubt still some way to go before creating diverse boards becomes the norm. However, it is high on the agenda of many businesses. It is no longer possible to simply play lip service. So, whilst getting the right person for the role is still the most important aim, there is a positive move at towards actively encouraging diversity. Moon Consulting has seen this evidenced in both our Non-Executive Director and Board position search assignments throughout 2018; as such, candidate shortlists need to demonstrate not only the right skills and aptitude for the role, but also diversification.
If you are looking to introduce new skills to your board, or wish to diversify your board, get in touch to find out how Moon Consulting can help you achieve your goals. Alternatively, visit our Build Your Board section on our website to find out whether the talent we are currently representing could be beneficial to your business.