Our website uses cookies to give you the best possible experience and to help us understand how our site is being used. By using this website you consent to the use of cookies in accordance with our Privacy Policy.

Develop your director skills

No matter what career stage, good directors take every opportunity to enhance their governance skills and their board competencies. We provide tips based on your experience level.

type
Resource
author
By Institute of Directors
date
1 Dec 2019

Experience level

I'm new to directorship

You’re new to the role of director and want to do things right. You report to a board and want to understand more about how you can add value. Here are the top things you can do to develop your governance skills.

  1. Join the IoD. If you’re not already a member, join the IoD to access governance information and resources. If you are under 40, you will receive 40% off the annual membership subscription. You can join the IoD as a Member or an Associate
  2. Read The Four Pillars of Governance Best Practice included as part of your membership pack. The Four Pillars is a comprehensive guide on the practical day-to-day issues faced as a director.
  3. See the Director Competency Framework for a good understanding of what competencies you need to operate effectively in the boardroom.
  4. Undertake formal governance training. Our Essentials of Directorship series will provide you with a good foundation of governance knowledge. If you’ve been on a board for at least a year or have been reporting or working with a board, consider our one week Company Directors’ Course (CDC).  Completion of the CDC is the first step in becoming a Chartered Member.
  5. Tap into the wealth of governance resources and publications provided to members. Subscribe to our governance updates when you join the IoD to have the latest in governance emailed to you. 
  6. Connect with your local branch and attend events.
  7. IoD’s annual conference is the gold standard professional development event for the director community. Keynote speakers include governance thought leaders, strategists and business leaders.
  8. Consider applying for an Emerging Director Award.
  9. Register on our Future Directors' database to be put forward for the opportunity to observe and participate on a board for 12 months.
  10. Look for other opportunities to gain board positions such as listing on IoD’s Director Search database if you are an IoD member or apply for opportunities through Director Vacancies.

I would call myself a mid-career director

You’ve been on a number of boards and are looking to develop your career further. You’re committed to developing the full range of competencies needed to be an effective director.

  1. Membership of the IoD means a commitment to life-long learning and professional standards for directors. If you're a member of the governing body of a qualifying organisation – one that has a meaningful separation of its executive and governance functions – have completed the Company Directors’ Course (CDC) you can apply to become a Chartered Member. 
  2. Read The Four Pillars of Governance Best Practice included as part of your membership pack. The Four Pillars is a comprehensive guide on the practical day-to-day issues faced as a director.
  3. See the Director Competency Framework for a good understanding of what competencies you need to operate effectively in the boardroom.
  4. Undertake formal governance training. We provide a suite of courses aimed at mid-career directors and governance professionals.
  5. Connect with your local branch and attend branch events. Branch events count towards your CPD as well as providing a valuable forum for networking.
  6. IoD’s annual conference is the gold standard professional development event for the director community. Keynote speakers include governance thought leaders, strategists and business leaders.
  7. Encourage your board/s to undertake a formal board evaluation The IoD can help you identify your board’s strengths and find ways it can work better.
  8. Reading is an important part of your director development. Tap into the wealth of governance resources and publications provided to members. Read our bi-monthly magazine Boardroom. It includes articles on major governance issues in New Zealand and internationally.
  9. Consider applying for the Mentoring for Diversity programme. This programme is for mid to experienced directors ready to step up to large company boards. It links mentees with mentors who are chairs and senior director from NZX and large company boards. Applicants can apply on the basis of a range of diversity criteria including gender, ethnicity, age, skillset and background. Applications for the programme open in February/March each year.
  10. Consider becoming involved with your local IoD committee or offering to present locally on your specific area of expertise. 
  11. Look for other opportunities to gain board positions. Make sure your details are up-to-date, including your governance CV on IoD’s Director Search database or apply for board positions listed on Director Vacancies.

I am an experienced director

There’re many types of experienced directors just as there are many types of organisations that make up the governance spectrum. Some directors have been on boards of small not-for-profit for many years. Others have been in big executive roles and then on the boards of large commercial entities for a smaller number of years. The following suggestions are aimed at experienced directors of organisations of substance looking at, not only what they might do for director development, but what they might give back so the profession benefits from their experience.

  1. Membership of the IoD means a commitment to life-long learning and professional standards for directors. If you have been on the board of an entity of substance for a number of years, you may be eligible to apply to become a Chartered Fellow
  2. Read The Four Pillars of Governance Best Practice. The Four Pillars is a comprehensive guide on the practical day-to-day issues faced as a director.
  3. See the Director Competency Framework for a good understanding of what competencies you need to operate effectively in the boardroom.
  4. Undertake formal governance training. We provide courses aimed at experienced directors and chairs.
  5. Connect with your local branch and attend branch events. Branch events count towards your CPD as well as providing a valuable forum for networking.
  6. IoD’s annual conference is the gold standard professional development event for the director community. Keynote speakers include governance thought leaders, strategists and business leaders.
  7. Encourage your board/s to undertake a formal board evaluation The IoD can help you identify your board’s strengths and find ways it can work better.
  8. Reading is an important part of your director development. Tap into the wealth of governance resources and publications provided to members. Read our bi-monthly magazine Boardroom. It includes articles on major governance issues in New Zealand and internationally.
  9. Consider becoming a mentor on the Mentoring for Diversity programme or Future Directors' programme. Both programmes are aimed at developing the pipeline of director talent. Mentoring for Diversity is aimed at mid to high level directors ready to step up to large company boards and Future Directors is aimed at new director talent.
  10. Consider becoming involved with your local IoD committee or offering to present locally on your specific area of expertise.