The role of the Non-Executive or Supervisory Director is an increasingly demanding one, in terms both of the time required and the expectations that external stakeholders have of the impact Directors can have.

It is therefore important that the process by which they are selected is a robust and insightful one.

Non-Executive Directors are members of a team and we encourage our clients to consider individual appointments as part of an overall succession planning process.

We work with them to look first at the strategic needs of the business and how the Board will add value; in that context, to define the collective capabilities the Board needs; and then to identify carefully the current or potential gaps that need to be filled.

Based on that, we crystallise the brief for the new Non-Executive Director(s) and this determines the nature of the profiles that we explore. We play particular attention to the need for appropriate diversity – whether of gender, nationality or experience.

However, having the right capabilities and experience is a necessary but not sufficient condition; it is equally important that Non-Executive Director candidates have the necessary personal attributes for the role: the right motivations; the necessary commitment; a challenging and independent mindset; a collaborative and constructive style; and courage under fire.

In our assessment of candidates – through interviewing and referencing – we therefore look not just for capabilities but also for character.

Examples of some of our work can be found in the Case Studies section.