Ample preparation makes for useful non-executive directors.
A new non-executive has been appointed to the board. How much time must elapse before he can make a useful contribution to its deliberations? John Viney, chairman of head-hunters Heidrick & Struggles, reckons that, 'It may take him six to 12 months to find his feet'. The better the induction process, Viney argues, the sooner will the new man/woman be able to play a full part. This view is shared by many businesses, especially those at the bigger end of the scale which often give their boardroom recruits extensive preparation. 'Formal processes of induction are almost mandatory among Footsie 100 companies,' notes Yve Newbold, chief executive at Pro Ned.