FEI is fortunate to count experienced non-executive directors amongst our mentors. We spoke to David Craig and Peter Marriott about the best way for finance executives to approach working with Boards.
Here are some top tips:
1. Understand the Board’s role and context
The Board exists to help the company succeed and Directors are looking to support executives. However, Directors must have a clear eye to risk, and are required to satisfy themselves that the organisation is heading in the right strategic direction. That process of review and re-validation of decisions at Board level should be a valuable journey for all participants.
2. Prepare thoroughly
Know your audience. Boards need to digest a large volume of complex information quickly, and place that information into the broader context of the business. Not all Directors will share your technical expertise in the subject matter. Consider what a Director most needs to know about the issue and be clear and succinct. If unsure, seek advice from the Committee Chair well in advance.
3. Present a balanced view
Directors do not want a sales pitch, they want confidence that all angles of a proposal have been thoughtfully evaluated. Err on the side of ‘show me’ rather than ‘tell me’, and leave a large allocation of time for questions. You are aiming to have a discussion, not present a lecture.
4. Confidence, not arrogance
A well-prepared executive will come across as in command of their subject matter, but not arrogant. They will listen carefully, and commit to reverting on questions rather than bluffing answers. It is a good idea to seek feedback or debrief with your Chair within a week of the meeting.
5. Involve your team
A strong team reflects well on a leader. If your team members are ready, coach them on interfacing with the Board, alongside you.
To hear more from our workshop with David and Peter, join FEI today and access the FEI Learning Library.