Join a Professional Corporate Directors Group

In prior steps we discussed your experiences and capabilities and the people you know who have access. In this step, we tap into professional groups that leverage the power of numbers and invest in governance research. Early in your process, find a local corporate directors organization to keep current with changes in regulations and business trends affecting board practice. Also, through meetings of these professional groups, you can listen to C-suite stories concerning board activities and networking with peer directors.

Identify a local chapter and get involved

Here are some leading examples:

National Association of Corporate Directors (NACD)

Directors Network

Women Corporate Directors

National Association of Corporate Directors (NACD)

The professional director group I have spent seven years with is the National Association of Corporate Directors (NCAD). They are the largest national organization and they invest in research and conferences. The local chapters provide monthly programs of highly relevant and timely content, as well as peer networking opportunities. Key features of NACD research include:

  • Blue Ribbon Commission Reports: Annual NACD signature publications that propose new principles and practices to address the most critical boardroom issues. Recent examples include the role of the board in long-term value creation and talent development.
  • Governance Benchmarking Surveys: Annual survey-based reports that benchmark key board governance practices. Recent examples include the 2015-2016 public company governance survey and the 2016 director compensation survey.
  • Director Handbooks: Topic-specific publications that offer practical guidance to strengthen director oversight. Recent examples include cyber-risk oversight and governing the global company.
  • Director Essentials: Foundational guides that offer a short overview of core board roles and responsibilities on a specific issue. Recent examples include director oversight of compliance and preparing for the proxy season.
  • Resource Centers: Online portals curating our most relevant and up-to-date content about key board governance and business issues. Recent examples include cybersecurity and board diversity.

Just as professional organizations provided leverage for you earlier in your path to an executive career, governance professional organizations can accelerate your steps to a board of directors seat.

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About The Author

Julie England

Julie S. England serves on the board of directors of global electronics companies. Prior to her retirement in 2009, she served in various capacities with Texas Instruments Inc., most recently as Vice President and General Manager of Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) division. She also served as Vice President of its microprocessor division from 1998 to 2004 and as Vice President of Quality for the Semiconductor Group from 1994 to 1998. Ms. England is an experienced independent corporate director serving on both private and public companies in the USA and Europe. She is currently serving on the Board of Trustees of the Georgia O’Keeffe Museum and the North Texas Chapter of the National Association of Directors. Ms. England holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Chemical Engineering and graduate studies in business from Texas Tech University complemented with executive education at Harvard University and Stanford University.