What Public Sector Organisations Look For

In order to be successfully appointed to a Non-Executive Director role or to submit an effective application it is important to first understand what appointing boards look for in potential applicants.

Non-Executive Directors have a unique role that’s slightly different than a traditional executive who is part of the management team. Whether you’re looking for your first role as an Non-Executive Director or already have experience in this position, it’s helpful to know precisely what an organisation wants from you. While there can be some differences from board to board, here are some overarching qualities that are desired across the board.

Independent Nature

Non-Executive Directors could be considered as an outsider from other members of management. As a result, they need to be able to think for themselves and stick to their guns regardless of the situation. They need to consistently make the right decisions and use independent judgement when determining the best plan of action for a company. Otherwise, if a person is unable to think independently, it could have adverse consequences on an organisation.

Strategic Thinking

Able to see the big picture and help develop sound strategies, it’s ideal for an Non-Executive Director to be analytical and able to plot a long term strategy that steers an organisation in the right direction. They should have a knack for taking a wealth of data and putting it all together and make sound decisions.

Communication Skills

Non-Executive Directors are often required to exchange ideas with other members of the executive team and wider Board and be able to clearly express their thoughts. They should be able to critique any problem areas in a diplomatic way.

Ability to Remain Unbiased

Non-Executive Directors are expected to maintain a sense of neutrality and offer a clear perspective. That’s why it’s critical that they stay unbiased at all times and make sure that their decisions are based on objectivity. When looking for an Non-Executive Director, most organisations will want a person who can remain focused and do what’s best for the organisation regardless of their personal views.

Demonstrable Passion & Interest in the Organisation

Often working with a range of stakeholders – both internally and externally - a Non-Executive Director who can speak with enthusiasm on behalf of the organisation’s vision, mission and values is essential. Whether that this through personal experience or not, in order to build credibility and impact, the aims of the organisation should chime with that of the individual.

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