Why become a NED (non-executive director)? It gives you the opportunity to strategically add value to an organisation, benefit an organisation that may be meaningful to you, enhance your skill set and experience (can be invaluable for your executive skillset too), share your expertise by giving back, build and develop your portfolio career, grow your senior network, and potentially secure a fresh income stream – not to mention that NED roles typically come without a full-time commitment or need to get involved in the business on a day-to-day basis.
But what’s in it for the business – what benefits do they derive from having one (or more) non-executive directors on their board?
9 benefits of having non-executive directors on your board
The value and skills a NED can bring to your board is necessarily different from other C-suite roles. Regardless of the industry you’re in or the size of your organisation, these are some of the benefits having a non-executive director on your board include:
1. Impartial, valuable advice
A NED brings with them the weight of decades of experience and expertise – the average age of a non-executive director is 59. They will typically support your business at a very strategic level in policymaking, planning and strategy. They offer a fresh perspective and an external opinion that can be invaluable.
2. Specialist expertise
Bringing a non-executive director with experience in your niche or sector onto your board means you’re adding extra value and capabilities to your existing team. They should also have an established network of contacts in your field that you can leverage to your advantage.
3. A deep understanding of board dynamics
Experience at senior or C-suite level frequently brings with it high emotional intelligence and the ability to understand the dynamics of your board, the relationships between different directors and how to navigate through them and optimise the way you work.
4. A challenge to your status quo
NEDs tend to be able to influence not just with the experience and expertise, but with gravitas and diplomacy. They are able to challenge your organisation’s status quo in a way that promotes deeper thinking, generates new ideas and creates transformative change.
Bringing in a non-executive director provides you with an external perspective and the ability to see things in a new light. They will have the confidence to scrutinise business performance and be able to provide sound logic and advice when it comes to improvements and change.
6. Evaluation skills
NEDs are typically able to evaluate situations, data and business dynamics keenly and clearly, and offer a synopsis and valuable advice on how to take your business forward.
7. Understanding of governance
If you recruit a NED to your board who has a deep understanding of your industry or niche in your sector, they should also bring with them a sound understanding of governance and regulatory requirements so you can ensure your business meets or exceeds all rules or legislation.
8. A balanced view
Non-executive directors naturally bring with them an independent mindset and a more balanced view and approach compared with board members who are more involved at an operational level.
9. Resilience and adaptability
Something that the vast majority of senior leaders have is buckets of resilience and the ability to adapt to change, no matter what that change is or how quickly it happens. This was particularly noticeable during and in the wake of the pandemic, which transformed the business landscape and how we work.
One final benefit that some non-executive directors can bring is in the digital realm. At City CV, we’re seeing a rise in NED candidates from technical and digital backgrounds who can bring their knowledge of how AI and big data can be used to boost efficiencies, drive profits and predict future demand in a wide range of settings.
Are you considering a NED role?
The expert team at City CV can help you create your NED CV for maximum success, highlighting the experience you can bring to a board and the value in your skills and expertise.
We also offer tailored executive coaching which will give you a solid foundation for progressing your journey to your first non-executive director role.
Finally, remember a non-executive director role places great emphasis on personality and ability, not just your career achievements. We’re skilled at identifying the right qualities and reflecting these in your LinkedIn profile and executive bio to help you stand out – and then be comfortable blending in.