Expert lists attributes of successful board membership
Founder, Leap Africa, Ndidi Nwuneli, has said to become a great board member, directors must possess the qualities of being strategic, having oversight and must be able to carry out effective service delivery.
She said being strategic involves setting the organisation’s purpose, values, objective and direction. She said the director must be able to manage top appointments strategy and policy formulation, as well as shape culture and uphold values.
Nwuneli, who is also the co-founder of Sahel Consulting Agriculture Limited, said this at the Network and Knowledge Sharing Session (NKSS) of the Young Directors’ Forum (YDF) of the Institute of Directors (IoD) Nigeria.
She said directors must ensure effective execution, ensure cost-effective management of corporate resources, oversee the financial management of the organisation and self-evaluation and others.
For effective service, she said directors must support and advise management, report to stakeholders and represent the organisation, externally.
Nwuneli, who spoke on ‘Unlocking Millennial Directors’ Potential: The Place of Corporate Governance’, said before deciding to become a board member, directors must ask themselves the question on why they want to serve in a board, what value do they want to add and the value they will gain?
Giving insights into organisational life cycle and associated board features, the Leap Africa boss gave instances of the fundamentals of becoming a board member, competencies and behaviours, as well as critical advice for the journey.
Earlier, the President and Chairman of Council, IoD, Dr. Ije Jidenma, said research has shown one leading factor contributing to the high mortality rate of millennial businesses in Africa is the lack of or inadequate attention to governance issues in business.
According to her, oftentimes, the practice of emplacing corporate governance structures is not treated as a priority, and this ultimately checkmates the growth of promising businesses.
She said the YDF was created by the institute to serve as a network of young, talented and upcoming board leaders, who are keen knowledge seekers interested in taking advantage of the IoD Nigeria platform to build capacities in corporate governance skills and practices.
She said members of the forum would also be able to access the free mentorship services of the institute, while creating strong peer networks that add value in the course of discharging their roles and responsibilities as directors.
“Ultimately, they are groomed to become IoD chartered directors, who give back to society by mentoring others and supporting the growth of IoD Nigeria. The forum is also IoD Nigeria’s way of giving back to the society by committing to building a pipeline of the future generation of technocrats, stellar board directors and business icons, whose businesses outlast generations because of their ethical leadership practices and sound corporate governance,” she said.