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The New Search for World-Class Board Talent

Bernard Vanderlande, IRC USA - Tula International | 19.07.2015

The old formula for finding exceptional candidates for your Board used to lead directly to the doors of other companies’ Chief Executive Officers. The problem is those doors don’t open as regularly or as easily as before.

Increasing demands on CEOs’ time; the commitment to hold a corporate board seat and concerns about mounting liability risk have fundamentally altered the search for today’s top Boardroom talent due to time constraints.

More CEOs are refusing Board appointments. Moreover Boards are realizing that rapidly diversifying consumer bases and business opportunities are making effective governance more global in scope, and less provincial in structure and composition.

Points of view from the World Economic Forum, The Wall Street Journal and other sources point independently to rapidly growing demand for globally experienced Board Directors and fewer sitting CEOs willing to take on a new Board directorship.

So where does this leave your Board’s search for new Directors?

The answer, says Global Governance Consultant, Bernard Vanderlande, is to take the search for fresh Boardroom talent far broader and deeper than companies have ever gone before to fill key skills and expertise gaps on their Boards. This means assessing which esteemed Chief Executive’s key leadership team officers is contributing most to his or her enterprise’s financial results. Occasionally, this means digging deeper into highly matrix global organizations to decipher which business units are consistently outperforming and which leaders are most responsible for business growth.

The focus of today’s Boards is on gaining global insight and connecting with the international business leaders who can help companies increase cross-border business, open new markets, and navigate around political, economic, and social barriers.

Today’s search for these new global Board leaders demands:

  1. More rigorous global research and international connections to referral sources who can nominate exceptional candidates.
  2. Renewed focus on business strategy and growth centered on the ‘how’ and ‘where’ questions before the ‘who’ and ‘when’.
  3. A recruitment partner who brings global perspective and local market expertise to ferret out the best Senior Management candidates who haven’t yet reached the CEO’s post.

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