Annemarie Durbin Nedonboard

Where do new non-executive directors often go wrong? NED Expert Interview with Annemarie Durbin

Having interviewed Annemarie Durbin , following a NEDonBoard panel evening, there are some clear considerations which best enable a Board to work effectively in harmony. From building relationships with the key stakeholders and management team to understanding culture dynamics in order to make a positive impact in any organisation. Following on from last week’s first part, the second part highlights the importance to find the right balance and mindset when taking up a new NED Role.

Where do new non-executive directors often go wrong?

For new non-executives, it’s quite a tricky balance to arrive at. On the one hand you’re desperate to make an impact early on so that you can be seen to be making a positive contribution, and yet on the other hand you’re quite nervous and unsure about how things actually work on the board. And so the risk that you run is that you are either too quiet, so you sit there and you stand back and you watch and you listen and you learn, and then you’re seen as not pulling your weight and being a bit of a lightweight , on the other hand, you’re too loud and too noisy and interject and are seen as being opinionated and not really understanding the context.

Striking that balance and being very careful and mindful about where you make early on contributions is incredibly important, and actually for long standing non-execs – and I notice that I run the risk of this just like any other long standing non-exec, the risk is that you get into a pattern. You focus on the same things board meeting after board meeting after board meeting, and then it sounds like a broken record and people stop listening even if the point is right, people stop listening, and so therefore you have to find a different way to provide input or look at it through a different perspective or offer it in a different way or to different people or something or other to guard against that familiarity breeding lack of impact.

Annemarie Durbin is a portfolio FTSE Non-Executive Director, including of Ladbrokes Coral PLC and member of its Audit and Risk, Nomination, Remuneration and Social Responsibility Committees. She is also an executive coach and has held senior roles in Wholesale Banking, including Head of Financial Institutions for Europe and Africa, and had global responsibility for the Development Organisation Client Segment. Within Consumer Banking, Annemarie held CB Head roles in the Philippines and Thailand

If you are looking to stretch your skill set, join other business leaders in our flourishing community of Non-Execs  – As the professional body for Non-Executive Directors, we serve Board Members and business leaders to accomplish their professional objectives by giving access to non-exec, chair and trustee roles provided by organisations such as: SMEs, Start-Up, Charities, FTSE 350, NHS or the Cabinet Office.

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