What have non-executives ever done for us?
Let’s be honest – who needs Non-Execs?
All right, they might bring a clear-eyed detachment to some of the more difficult decisions you’ll have to make, because they’re seeing the issues with a fresh and new perspective.
But if I want clear-eyed, new perspectives I can go to an optician’s. See?
And please don’t come out with that old chestnut – Non-Execs will bring new ideas that will revitalise your company and inject it with a revived sense of purpose. Now if I need revitalising I go to a health spa, and any reviving injections I leave to my G.P. Or even my dentist.
Have you heard the one about Non-Execs bringing to the table a whole new list of contacts that will help your company branch out in fresh and hitherto untrodden paths? Far better, say I, to stick to tried and trusted routes where the pathway is well trodden and you know exactly where you’re going. None of that “to boldly go…” nonsense. Besides, even if I do stroll along unfamiliar paths in the wood, it’s always the same wood. You know where you are then.
Some say that bringing in a Non-Executive Director makes others [such as shareholders or investors] regard your company in a new light, and in turn it renders your profile more dynamic and attractive to potential new clients, customers or employees. Well forgive me, but my brother and I [otherwise known as “the board”] recently produced a company news-sheet with an article about us and we sent it out to all our customers. We call it “the personal touch”. Our maxim is: “Familiarity Breeds Content.” We’re quite proud of that, as it happens.
I’ve heard it said that Non-Executives bring an independence to the sometimes contentious issues discussed at board level. That their non-alignment with any faction within the board, and their consequent ability to offer advice that is focused and unfettered, makes them an invaluable strategic strength. “Independence”? “Contentious”? “Faction”? What on earth do they think goes on in my company?
They also say that having a Non-Exec on the board encourages a much more disciplined and rigorous approach to the discussion of business [you know the sort of thing – agendas, minutes, decisions based on frank interchange of views, etc, etc]. They bring a formality to the business of Business. I don’t know about you, but if I want formal, I’ll hire a tux and have done with it.
I mean, have you ever heard such gobbledegook.
Ian Wright is CEO of www.NonExecutiveDirectors.com - a “free to recruit from” private members’ platform of expert, experienced non-executive directors and Chair(wo)men
This was posted in Bdaily's Members' News section by Ian Wright .