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New Year Round Up

The AWTE board held their first board meeting for 2018 this week, it was a lively and productive session that enabled us to plan our events schedule for the year. Together with our networking evenings, a fantastic summer BBQ and awards programme, Christmas lunch (the date is confirmed as Monday 3rd Dec by the way)! We will also be increasing our programme of Development sessions, designed to provide practical tips and advice around on specific issues for women in the industry.

The events will be open to book on the website very soon and to give you a taster…here is a summary of the brilliant insights provided by our ‘How to become a Non-Executive Director’ panel event last November. What else would you like us to talk about? We love hearing your feedback and suggestions for topics we can cover in these sessions so please do get in touch…

Panel:

Francesca Ecsery – Portfolio Non-Executive Director| Entrepreneur

Fiona Hathorn – MD Women on Boards UK

Roger Flynn – Chair, Love Holidays

 

Moderator: Simon Ferguson, MD Northern Europe, Travelport.

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 What is key to the success of a NED? 

    • To look after key stakeholders
    • You need to be wanted and needed by the board
    • Understand the boundaries between the board and executives
    • ‘NON’ is important, remember this! You are not there to run the business
    • Install trust between board and executives

 

What skills and attributes do you need to be an attractive NED candidate?

    • Experience! Start as soon as you can and be creative in where you can find this, look at:
      • School trusts and governing boards
      • Industry associations (AWTE board positions become available in April!)
      • Not for profit and social enterprise
      • Most NED’s started with small board positions in younger years, it’s never too early!
    • Emotional intelligence
      • There will be several personal/political agendas on a board, you will have to navigate this.
      • Understand when to stand your ground
    • A great elevator pitch!
      • Men tend to be better at this…practise, practise, practise and use your network for feedback
      • What are your core skills/expertise… what can you offer? Ask your current and ex colleagues, managers, team.
      • Have you had fast growth business experience and what was key to success?

Tips to finding your first NED position:

  • You will need to pitch your personal brand in the right place, remember this could be very different from your usual social/work networking circles.
  • Network like crazy – positions can come from where least expect.
  • Focus on industries you think are potentials, plan your strategy
  • You need to sell your board value proposition
  • Doesn’t have to be a large organisation, small companies have boards too.

What to watch out for:

    • Danger! Are you just being brought in to be hands on in the business?
    • Entrepreneurs – are they really open to guidance and advice?
    • You might need to be resilient and turn down some NED offers before you pick a winner.
    • It is still very much a man’s world, your pitch needs to be polished
    • Risk and liability – this can be equal to that of an employed Executive….do your due diligence!
    • Might take a year before you really get under the skin of the business, this is normal

We look forward to seeing you at one of events in 2018…