Every single one of my clients will at some point encounter critical organisational challenges. Each scenario is different but they all have bottlenecks which are delaying them in moving their business forward. As a result, whether it be an SME or Blue-chip organisation the increased demand for a solution is paramount.
So what is the solution?
Over recent years I have seen more businesses turning to external individuals for guidance on how to overcome challenges and accelerate business growth. By far, the most popular resource for my clients has been to engage a Non- Executive Director.
What is a Non-Executive Director?
Non-Executive Directors (NED’s) and Non-Executive Chairmen (NEC’s) can add value to any business. Although they act as Directors of the company, they are external experts who provide unbiased advice and do not form part of the internal executive management team.
These specialist Directors are experts in seeing business challenges from a broad viewpoint, and will have the ability to provide high calibre advise by leveraging on their extensive experience.
Should I Hire a Non-Executive Director?
Obviously, this decision will depend on the current state of your company and what challenges you are facing.
Organisations will typically engage a NED for their non-biased opinion and ability to provide an extensive level of expertise- which is invaluable for company’s when making critical business decisions. Their independent decisions can businesses define clear strategies, improve performance and offer expertise on how to accelerate the business.
For SME’s and Midcap businesses, a Non-Executive Directors (NED's) that ordinarily, as an executive, may have been challenging for you to attain (either in terms of attraction to the business or affordability) and this can therefore have a major impact on your company direction and future success.
To provide some more guidance, here are five ways an NED can add value to your business?
1. Your business may newly established and you need guidance on which direction to follow next; or perhaps you are dealing with accelerated growth or tackling extremely turbulent times? Regardless of the situation, due to their extensive experience, an NED will have encountered similar scenarios. Meaning they will have experience and visibility of ‘what’s next’ and will be able to advise on how your business should move forward. They will also have an extensive networking to leverage on for further expertise. Leading onto point two…
2. Does your business have a strong network? In all business, referrals and networking are key to achieving a strong brand, as well are contributing to sales. A lot of businesses rely immensely on referrals but for smaller businesses a strong network can be difficult to establish in the early days.
A high calibre NED will be well connected and will be able to introduce you to their connections, that would otherwise be hard to access.
3. NED’s will provide an impartial opinion which is highly beneficial for businesses when they are making critical decisions. This will be purely down to their ability to analyse things from a different perspective, as they will not be involved in organisational politics and can provide a strategic outlook. For example:
- Are targets being met?
- Is the business on track?
- What environmental changes are affecting the business?
- What competitors should the business be looking at and how does can stay ahead of the competition?
4. NED’s will work objectively to achieve the outcomes they have been engaged to advise on. This is great because they will be focused on the subject matter in hand, rather than other processes. Often the challenges businesses face are never fully resolved because there are too many differing opinions and never a solutions.
With their strategic focus an NED will be results driven and know the answer to your challenges; providing a wide scale overview of the potential opportunities for growth.
5. NED’s are great are aligning objectives and sticking to one agenda.
Similar to the above points, unlike internal decision makers, an NED will not spend time debating on what works and doesn’t work. Decisions in the Boardroom can take longer than needed due to misalignment and pointless debate. Non Executive Directors are great for keeping the decision makers aligned and keeping the objectives on track.
Now I ask you- what is your experience of hiring an NED? Or do are there challenges your business is facing that an NED could support you with?
We have only highlighted the top-level benefits of an NED, so if you are interested in a confidential discussion, please do not hesitate to get in contact at firstname.lastname@example.org or call me on 01962 893311.
For more information on hiring a Non-Executive Director or Board Level Executive, click here.
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