by John L. Ward
A very thoughtful family we know developed a family task force to develop the criteria and qualifications for next generation directors. More important than their conclusions, following, is their process: They interviewed current non-family directors and board chairmen they know in other family businesses.
Criteria for Next Generation Directors
- Know the company and know its culture. (Internships, company training programs, company mentors, or work experience are available as some ways to learn the company.)
- Live the values.
- Have three years of meaningful independent director board experience – as an observer or member – of a non-profit organization (beyond company foundation), a for-profit organization and/or of company subsidiary board.
- Achieve success in chosen field of professional interest.
- Boardroom competence (see competences that follow).
- Governance education.
- Respect of and by the family; active in Family Meeting process.
- Time to serve – 12+ days/year.
- No conflicts of interest.
Competencies for Effectiveness
- Sound Judgment
- Knowledge of the Business
- Financial Acumen
- Understanding of Governance Principles
- Problem Solving Skills
- Personal Commitment
- Global Perspective
- Communication Skills
- Interpersonal Skills