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Developing directors, key questions for the training and development community

Developing directors, key questions for the training and development community

Coulson-Thomas, Colin (2008) Developing directors, key questions for the training and development community. Industrial and Commercial Training, 40 (7). pp. 364-373. ISSN 0019-7858 (doi:

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This paper shares the findings of investigations into how directors have and should be prepared for their boardroom roles.

It draws upon the findings of surveys of director development undertaken by the author and others and the author’s experience of advising over 100 boards on director and board development.

The findings suggest many directors and boards do not receive the development they require to be more effective in their roles. Trainers and developers interested in addressing their requirements need to understand the development role of the chairman of the board, the distinct nature of director development, obstacles to development at board level, the learning preferences of directors and formal and informal learning options that are available and ask key questions to assess the development context.

The surveys examined have mainly involved UK directors and unitary boards. The situation might be different in other countries. It would be helpful if more studies were undertaken of director and board development in other contexts and involving different board structures, e.g. two tier or management and supervisory boards.

Directors need a proper induction and must remain current throughout their directorial career. Trainers and developers can address this requirement by a combination of formal and informal means.

The paper highlights the nature of the director development challenge, and that the boardroom represents a key learning environment. The paper should be of value to those who support directors and boards and have an interest in improving the competence of directors and the effectiveness of boards.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: directors, boards of directors, continuing development, education
Subjects: H Social Sciences > HF Commerce
H Social Sciences > HM Sociology
L Education > L Education (General)
Faculty / School / Research Centre / Research Group: Faculty of Business > Department of Human Resources & Organisational Behaviour
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Last Modified: 14 Oct 2016 09:14

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