Some advice on choosing great board members

There’s a good piece up on Forbes today which offers the following advice about choosing board members:

  • Look for integrity and communication skills
  • Do due diligence, and then do some more
  • Make sure they are committed
  • Don’t expect everything from one person

That’s all good advice, and you can read the post for more detail (linked above). There’s more good stuff on the subject here too.

One thing that I think is important which doesn’t get mentioned very often is to make sure you think the same way about strategy. You want challenge, which means you don’t want board members who think in exactly the same way as you do, but you don’t want them to think too differently either. It’s likely that you will hit a fork in the road at some point and if you come to a different conclusion to your board member then you may have an issue. It’s hard for a board to function well when there are fundamental disagreements over strategy.

I always advise talking through future scenarios as a way to gauge whether disagreements in the future are likely.