Exploring New Board Opportunities, Being Gracious in Saying “No”

By |2021-09-10T13:41:45-04:00January 7th, 2019|Blogs|

So, you are excited you received an email or phone call asking if you would consider a board opportunity. The steps you take to determine whether you are interested or not should be particularly strategic when exploring new board opportunities. The first step, do your due diligence in making sure you understand the company, culture, any conflicts that exist, and why you were considered for the board opportunity. Refer to my blog on building your board profile here: https://womengetonboard.ca/building-your-board-profile. Make sure you know the companies or industries that you are interested in. Review their values, mission and strategy. Do they align with your skills, experiences and values? Will you add value? I always evaluate Board opportunities in three ways: 1. How can I add value? 2. Do I have a personal statement of the attributes I can bring to the board? 3. How can I use my network to make meaningful connections to grow the business? The second step, if you are interested the opportunity, you should request more information early on, including: · A detailed board [...]

Finding Your Voice at the Boardroom Table

By |2021-09-10T12:38:29-04:00August 8th, 2018|Blogs|

What does it mean to find your voice at the boardroom table when you are a new board member appointed to a board that has longstanding relationships? Or a new Chair of the Board is appointed and you have never worked together? Or when you are the “token” woman at the boardroom table? How do you break in with credibility and build trust with your board colleagues? There are five tips I would like to share in helping you find your voice at the boardroom table: 1. Onboarding An onboarding process is set up to ensure that new board members familiarize themselves with the company, the industry it competes within, and the governance practices it’s ruled by. Its purpose is also to familiarize new board members, like yourself, with people you will be working with, such as other board members and members of the senior management team. It’s not uncommon that new board members may take up to a year to feel that they have fully completed the onboarding process and can become truly effective in their [...]

A Strategic Approach to Filling Board Positions Is Critical — Regardless of Your Gender

By |2021-09-10T13:41:53-04:00May 16th, 2018|Blogs|

  Written by: Debbie Stojanovic, CEO, Nealon Consulting & Deborah Rosati, Founder & CEO, Women Get On Board Diversity, and gender diversity in particular, is a top agenda item in boardrooms today — as it should be. It’s a priority not only because there are now legislative and regulatory changes that require it, but also because it’s just good business practice. Research shows that the right board composition can enhance decision-making processes and augment an organization’s performance and market reputation. [note] Menhi, Ekta & Dart, Beatrix, 2018/02/18, Globe and Mail, OpEd, More work must be done to boost gender diversity in Canada’s boardrooms, Link. [/note]  Can an improperly composed board pose a reputational risk for your organization? You bet. Today, we can’t open a newspaper, attend a meeting/event or have a general conversation without touching on some aspect of diversity. And that’s a good thing. From a board perspective, the conversation is shifting from why we need more women at the table to how we can accelerate progress. In light of this, it will be interesting to see what [...]

Network Mapping Your Way onto a Board

By |2021-09-10T13:42:14-04:00January 6th, 2018|Blogs|

Joining a board is about fit and style. The Board wants to make sure that your style will fit in. To help them decide, think about your network and how you might be connected to any one of the Board members. This is what I call “network mapping.” Use your network to map how you might be connected to members of the Board. The more connections you have to the Board, the more comfort they can get on how you will fit in. Don’t be afraid to ask for introductions! To help you map your network, it is important to understand who can help connect you to a board opportunity. Your network can be broken into the following groups: Decision Makers: these are individuals that will make the final decision on who will join their board. These include: board members, in particular, the Chair of the Board and Chair of the Nominating Committee. Connectors: Connectors make change happen through people. These are individuals that will connect you to board members, CEOs and Executives of a company you [...]

Are You Diversifying Your Board Portfolio?

By |2021-09-10T13:42:04-04:00September 8th, 2017|Blogs|

I began my board journey without the thought of diversifying my board portfolio. In saying “board portfolio”, I am referring to the various boards you lead and serve on. These boards collectively make up your board portfolio. Analogous to your investment portfolio, you want to be strategic in developing your board portfolio to accurately reflect your risk profile and the stage/age of your career. Just like your investment portfolio, you should monitor and review your board portfolio on a regular basis to ensure you are getting a return on your board portfolio. When thinking of diversifying your board portfolio, here are three key areas for consideration: Consider the Evolution of Your Board Journey In evaluating the evolution of your board journey, you may think about the size and stage of the boards you serve on. For example, if you join the board of an emerging company, the director’s role is often weighted to a value-add role and more hands-on. As the company matures, the role may become more weighted to an oversight role. To better understand your [...]

Are You Thinking of Creating an Advisory Board?

By |2021-09-10T13:42:19-04:00March 14th, 2017|Blogs|

I'm often asked about whether an emerging company should create an Advisory Board versus forming a governance fiduciary board. My response to entrepreneurs thinking of creating an Advisory Board is to be strategic in the formation of your Advisory Board. An Advisory Board is not a Board of Directors with legal and fiduciary responsibilities. In contrast, an Advisory Board does not have any formal legal responsibilities and liabilities. Rather, an Advisory Board is created by the CEO of the company to get advice and support. Over the years I have been invited to serve on Advisory Boards & Councils and have enjoyed providing strategic advice and guidance. More recently, I had the opportunity to create an Advisory Board for Women Get On Board, consisting of members with experience and connections in governance, law, investment banking, accounting, financial services, corporate finance, mergers and acquisitions, professional development, and media. Thank you all for your commitment and support to help us fulfill our mandate to connect, promote and empower women to corporate boards. Five key strategic considerations when creating an Advisory Board: [...]

Why a Diverse Board Makes Good Business Sense

By |2021-09-10T13:42:24-04:00January 26th, 2017|Blogs|

There is a lot of focus currently on the topic of diversity on boards. The underlying premise for diverse boards is no longer about good corporate citizenship but rather about contributing value to a business, and that makes good business sense. Top 5 Business Reasons for Diverse Boards Improve corporate financial performance. Studies have shown that companies with more diversity on their board have had higher financial performance in three important measures: Return on Equity, Return on Sales, and Return on Invested Capital. Enhance decision-making quality. Diversity of thought comes from, race, gender and ethnicity and extends to age, culture, personality, skills/expertise, educational background and life experiences. More diversity on boards helps avoid ‘group-think’ and increases independence, which can enhance the quality of decision making on the board. Broaden networks to tap into for board renewal. Board members should ask themselves: ~Does the composition of the board represent the employee base, the customer base or business partners/competitors? ~What skills or perspectives do we need to broaden that is not currently on the board? ~What is our diversity [...]

How to Prepare for Corporate Board Roles

By |2021-09-10T13:42:48-04:00October 7th, 2016|Blogs|

The first step in getting prepared to lead and serve on a corporate board is to make a plan. As, I’ve written about before, getting board-ready is a journey. A journey where you need to be realistic in your skills, experience and value that you bring to a corporate board while acknowledging that there are lots of qualified corporate directors looking for corporate board opportunities. I’m often asked how to begin a corporate board journey. And my best advice is to ask yourself these 10 questions to help you prepare yourself to lead and serve on a corporate board: 10 Board-Ready Questions Do you have a minimum of 10 to 15 years of experience in a senior executive role in the public, private, crown or not‐for‐profit sectors? Are you prepared to commit at least 200 to 300 hours per year to a corporate board role? Do you have the support of your own Board of Directors and/or senior executives to serve on a board? Do you have a formal governance certification or designation (C. Dir or ICD.D) [...]

Understanding Your Role on a Board

By |2021-09-10T13:42:46-04:00August 24th, 2016|Blogs|

Originally posted on September 15, 2015. There are two roles you must play on a Board, one is Oversight and the other is Value-add.  I will highlight both roles with an extract from a chapter that I co-authored with Donna Price in 2008’s Entrepreneurial Effect by James Bowen and Glenn Cheriton, titled Corporate Governance-Directors of Emerging Companies. (To promote understanding of a director’s role on a board and how to prepare for board opportunities, I am again co-facilitating Women Get On Board’s Getting Board-ready workshops from October to December 2016. Learn more about them here: http://womengetonboard.ca/workshops/.  Hope to see you there!) The Oversight role on a Board “The primary responsibility of directors is to oversee the management of the business and affairs of a corporation. This is referred to as an oversight duty. As a general matter, a business corporation’s objective in conducting business is to create and increase shareholder value. To this end, in addition to performing an oversight duty, boards also perform a value-added role. Decision-making generally involves developing corporate policy and strategic goals with [...]

Top 10 Tips to Help You in Your Journey to a Corporate Board

By |2021-09-10T13:46:46-04:00June 28th, 2016|Blogs|

Being a Corporate Director is much different than being an executive. A Corporate Director’s role is one of oversight whereas an executive’s role is to manage day-to-day operations. Getting yourself board-ready is a journey where you need to be realistic in your skills, experience and value you bring to a board. You also need to be mindful that it is a very competitive marketplace. There is an over-supply of qualified Corporate Directors for a limited supply of available corporate board seats. As a Corporate Director and co-founder of Women Get On Board, my goal is to help executives make that transition effectively. This is why I want to share my top 10 tips to help you in your journey to a corporate board. Be fearless — use your confidence to embrace change. ~Be independent minded and stand up for what you believe in. ~Do the right thing and be ethical in your decisions. ~Have courage, be brave, be decisive and be determined. Plan your journey, set goals and plan the path to your success. ~Be aspirational in your [...]

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