Positions on board of directors providing insight business expertise and leadership to grow and develop organisations to reach their full potential.
There is a growing acceptance among boards of directors and shareholders that non-executive directorships have a valued and necessary role to play in maximising board effectiveness. This applies to private as much as public companies. The introduction of truly independent judgement to the board's activities provides all interested parties with greater assurance that the correct strategies and decisions are likely to be chosen.
The contribution of non-executive directors can help to raise the level of discussion and improve the quality of decision-making on the board, increasing the chances of the company acting in the best interests of its long-term security and prosperity.
When changes to board membership are necessary, the board should first assess the qualities and competencies already around the boardroom table. The board should for both executive and non-executive directors develop specifications of the skills, personal qualities, knowledge and experience required for each new appointment and, after that, identify potential candidates.
Non-executive directors are chosen with regard to the balance of skills and experience on the board and with a view to supporting any areas that might be lacking. They should be capable of providing an independent and impartial view of the board's considerations and decisions while also identifying strongly with the company's affairs.
Joan Houston in the role of a non-executive director offers the strength of character and an ability to stand back from the issue being discussed. She also provides pragmatism and the ability to compromise. With her expertise she recognises that the demands of the role calls for courage, integrity, common sense, good judgement, tenacity, diplomacy and an ability to listen carefully and to communicate with clarity, objectivity and brevity.
As a chartered accountant she has numeracy and the ability to gain an adequate understanding of the company's finances, its management, its employees, its special capabilities and its markets. She has business acumen and the kind of mind that focuses clearly on the matters in hand.