Hot Skills Are Required in the Boardroom

Modern Boardroom

Traditionally the majority of board directors have come to the table with a very narrow skill set, usually focused on Accounting, Finance, Governance and Legal areas of expertise.

Whilst important, boards are under increasing pressure to understand Business Strategy, Technology, Consumer Behaviour, Digital Strategy, Marketing and Human Resources. In the long term, I believe we will see the emergence of “hot seats” in the boardroom that will provide the Board flexibility required to address business challenges without the need to reset the board every 12-months with new participants.

We are currently seeing a shift away from traditional board appointments and a greater emphasis being placed on skills diversity is finally emerging. If you are thinking of a board career, consider the unique value you might bring to the boardroom table if you have the following “hot skills”;

  • Strategy Expertise, whether it be developing, implementing or executing strategy, this remains one of the hottest skills and highly desirable in most business settings.
  • Risk Management experience including managing business reputation, finance and resources risk management.
  • Pre-IPO, Capital Raising, M&A all remain high on the list of desirable expertise especially combined with prior experience working with Capital Raising, PE & VC backed business ventures.
  • Large influential Business Networks that can open doors can never be under-estimated, and it might be your ticket into the boardroom.
  • IP, Legal, Patents expertise are particularly desirable for businesses which are managing substantial patent portfolio’s and have significant IP which can be commercialised.
  • CEO Experience – having sat in that CEO’s chair brings a unique perspective to the board, often overlooked, but a proven CEO in the boardroom can provide significant insight into the challenges faced by the executive team.
  • Government Relations is a unique skill set and for businesses that rely on government support, this is an important capability which should not be overlooked.
  • Not-For-Profit expertise across Fundraising & Philanthropy, combined with connections to HNW’s and Family Offices is becoming a hot skill that is highly desirable in the NFP space which face ongoing challenges in the fundraising space.
  • ICT, Marketing, HR and Customer Experience – all valid and has been traditionally overlooked. We are seeing many first time board appointments in these areas of expertise, giving boardrooms the insight that they need to make informed decisions.
  • Finally, experience in working with Start-Ups, Entrepreneurs, Commercializing Early-Stage Businesses has never been in more demand. If you have had a successful business exit or worked in this community before, then you can be assured of a warm welcome in the Boardroom in this sector.

Don’t underestimate your skills and capabilities and how they might contribute to a successful board career. For a no-obligation assessment of your Board Director potential, contact me for an appointment in the month of April and May 2016 to assess your skills, unique value proposition and develop your board search strategy. Please contact me via our website to request an appointment

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