The ideal candidates for your board of directors should be those who are committed to the purpose of the organization and are willing to commit time. The selection process should be thorough – don’t select anyone based on their close friend or family member. You should research the background of your candidates, ask for references and conduct a conflict-of-interest review.
Board members should have experience in their field and able to leverage their industry expertise to help the board make informed decisions. They must also be innovative and able to challenge the status that is in place. The board should be balanced and balance – you don’t need a board with too many visionaries and not enough executioners.
Ideally, the new board member should have previous experience on other boards, but this is not always practical. If the person does not have experience on boards, think about how many boards they are on and their role. Too many boards may result in burnout or lack of focus.
One mistake that leaders make is to surround themselves with “yes people.” They select those who support them and do not challenge their strategies or decisions. This is a risk to the capital of investors, employee livelihoods, and the future of your company. It is important to encourage lively discussion and bring in new perspectives to improve your company’s chances of success.