Getting your first NED role is often challenging and adjusting from executive to non-executive is also, at times, challenging. Some people get no training or support, others undertake NED courses, but what I really like about Boardroom ready is that it combines a mixture of practical experience as an observer, coaching and access to super training sessions, allowing our NEDs to develop their skills and expertise in a very safe environment.
What is the primary role of the coach?
My role is to help our observers understand the role of a NED and support them in transitioning from executive to NED. Our observers tend to be very experienced and each one has a unique approach and objective. We are there to help support them to achieve their objectives in the programme. David has tonnes of executive experience and he recognised it was going to be challenging for him to engage as an NED without overstepping the line and drifting into executive support. My role was to help him to prepare for the meetings, advise him how he might deal with different scenarios and help him to minimise any personal or commercial risks, given the unique role of board observer.
How does this happen practically?
Face-to Face and calls, and now, mostly Zoom calls! We generally have them before critical meetings and often, again, just after to discuss immediate items. Our observers are usually also working full time so it’s a big commitment for them, and jugging diaries can be challenging.
Where and how did this focus help Pamela?
It reinforced David’s desire to remain and executive but complement it with one NED role. At some point he is likely to transition to more NED roles, but this experience gave him the ability to fully assess this before launching on an NED portfolio with no previous experience.