New book on preparation for the boardroom

Director development can increase the prospects of corporate success according to Colin Coulson-Thomas author of ‘Developing Directors’ a new handbook for building an effective boardroom team.

[UKPRwire, Sat Oct 06 2007] Proper preparation for the boardroom can boost the value added by corporate boards according to Colin Coulson-Thomas. Speaking at a dinner of the NED Group he told those seeking board appointments to consider the risks involved and be patient: “There are many more people seeking independent director roles than there are positions available. Some boards have become large and unwieldy and in future there may be fewer rather than more openings”.

Building the competence of directors can lead to winning behaviours in the boardroom according to Coulson-Thomas’ new book which is published by Policy Publications. ‘Developing Directors’ provides guidance, checklists and exercises for preparing directors for their directorial roles.

Professional success, managerial progression and the demonstration of directorial potential can lead to a first appointment to a board. Governance experience can be broadened by serving on professional committees, joining the board of a hospital, school or subsidiary, or becoming a non-executive director of another company.

Buy-out and new business directorship opportunities can also arise. People can take the initiative. Coulson-Thomas explains: “Entrepreneurs create their own roles. However, apart from forming one’s own company, or joining the board of a family company, there is no standard path to a directorship. The route can depend upon the company, retirements and vacancies, and the requirements of a particular board.”

Aiming for the top of a particular area may or may not lead to a directorship. Coulson-Thomas feels: “Whether or not the head of a function should serve on a board depends upon the individual and the corporate context. Many chairmen believe an individual without directorial qualities should not be put upon a board just to ‘fill a particular slot’. A board can always obtain specialist advice as and when required.”

The Professor believes: “A director who is open to new ideas, stays current and continues to learn from boardroom experience can make an effective contribution long after managerial colleagues have voluntarily retired or been made redundant.”

Over 4,000 organisations from smaller firms to major corporations and Government bodies have participated in a research programme led by Prof. Coulson-Thomas which has identified critical success factors and successful approaches to the challenges faced by directors and boards. ‘Developing Directors’ explains how reservoirs of latent potential can be tapped by director and board development.

‘Developing Directors’ addresses a desire for better board and corporate performance as well as contemporary concerns over corporate governance standards. The new book identifies the knowledge, skills and personal qualities required by directors and defines the competent director and the effective board. It looks at the route to the boardroom and how to become a director, how directors are and should be prepared, and provides details of director and board development courses.

Developing the boardroom team and evaluating board performance are also considered. ‘Developing Directors’ is packed with exercises and checklists specifically designed for boardroom participation. For those concerned with understanding the fundamentals the book also examines the development challenge, the roles of directors and boards, the distinction between direction and management and factors affecting team work in the boardroom.

Developing Directors is essential reading for chairmen and directors, consultants and trainers charged with the task of developing dynamic boardroom teams to lead the organizations of today. It draws upon the author’s extensive experience of working with directors and boards, and provides practical advice on identifying and developing the qualities, competencies, and approaches needed for greater directorial contribution, board effectiveness and corporate success.

’Developing Directors, a handbook for building an effective boardroom team’, by Colin Coulson-Thomas (ISBN 978-1-872980-32-4) is published by Policy Publications, costs £34.95 plus p&p and can be ordered from:

Twenty five new courses for directors and boards on particular activities that are vital for corporate success are also available. For further information contact Prof. Colin Coulson-Thomas by Tel: 00 44 (0) 1733 361 149 or email: and via

The approaches of successful directors and boards are discussed in ‘Winning Companies; Winning People, the differing approaches of winners and losers’ by Colin Coulson-Thomas (ISBN 1-904235-58-1) which costs Price £19.95 plus p&p and is available from:

Information about other books and reports by Prof. Coulson-Thomas can be found on while details of the bespoke benchmarking and research reports covering critical success factors identified by his research can be obtained from

Professor Coulson-Thomas has helped over 100 boards to improve board and/or corporate performance and spoken at over 200 national and international events in 35 countries. He is a member of the Professional Accreditation Committee and Board of Examiners of the Institute of Directors and the ACCA Governance and Risk Management Committee and can be contacted by Tel: 00 44 (0) 1733 361 149 or email: and via

Company: Policy Publications Ltd

Contact Name: Colin Coulson-Thomas

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Contact Phone: +44(0)1733361149

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