Launching into the New Year is all about personal improvement and goal setting, so why not extend that “can do” attitude to the boardroom, too? Here are some practices you can employ to ensure that you bring your very best to the table in 2017.
- Prepare prepare prepare.
It’s easy to overlook this basic board member function, but it’s your duty as a director to come to meetings ready to participate to the best of your ability. At Directorpoint, we encourage admins to get board books and related meeting information out to directors early, so they can spend time reviewing it before meetings begin. More prep time means more time that board members can spend on strategic thinking instead of being bogged down in reports and reviewing older information.
- Take some initiative.
It’s easy to settle into your role in the boardroom and get comfortable being the financial guru or the technologically inclined director. It’s great to serve a very specific kind of function, but don’t let that box you in. More than ever before, boardrooms require innovative and entrepreneurial thinkers to help push companies forward. If there’s a risk/reward that you think the board should vet, don’t be afraid to bring it to the group to gather sound advice from your fellow directors.
- Stay open to new processes.
Boardrooms are famous for sayings like, “Well, that’s just the way we’ve always done things.” Don’t fall into the trap of the familiar. It’s great to develop tried and true processes for your meetings, but don’t ignore potential game-changing improvements. For instance, many of our clients never thought they’d be able to leave their old paper-based board meetings behind. Now, however, we doubt that anyone could convince them to return to those outdated and inefficient processes!
- Be bold.
This may be our least concrete advice, but we still think that it’s vital. As a corporate director, you are a worldwide leader, and the generations to come will look to your example for ways to drive the future. Remember to be bold in 2017 and to keep your eyes on the horizon of strategic planning.