An invitation to join a board is significant. Before accepting a board position there are a number of things directors need to consider.
How do you assess whether it’s the right position for you? Your decision about whether to join a board depends on an investigation and analysis of two basic questions:
There are many valid reasons for accepting a board position − desire to add value, to broaden your skills and experience, to further develop networks, remuneration. But remember a board position brings with it personal responsibility and risk. Don’t be swayed by loyalty, status, prestige or wanting to keep a ‘finger in the pie’ after retirement, without doing a thorough assessment of the risks involved.
You need to assess whether you have the right skills and experience to complement other directors on the board and to take the organisation forward with its strategic plan.
Ascertain the commitment from the chair before committing.
You need to assess whether you have the independence necessary to make clear, impartial decisions, unhampered by present involvements that would interfere with you acting in the best interests of the organisation.
In order to satisfy yourself that you want to invest your time and reputation in an organisation you need to conduct a thorough due diligence and be satisfied of:
For more detailed information on assessing whether a board position is right for you, see the Due diligence section of IoD’s The Four Pillars of Governance Best Practice