Onboarding or Inboarding?

As directors seek for ways to become more relevant in their boards and their work becomes so much more publicly scrutinized than before, I was reflecting on the subject of Onboarding & Inboarding and about some of the stories exchanged with peers on board dysfunction (not ours of course!) and how directors can help boards become more efficient and effective.

One of the key areas is Onboarding, how do you set up a new director? What are some of the successful onboarding practices of a company, of an industry, of an effective board?

There is always a process, good or bad, often lead by the new chairman and the new director’s eagerness to help with his or her integration.

So what are the key points for onboarding a new director?

Listing the top 3:

Culture – The culture of the board is a key part of the selection process and social and formal events with the board and the executives will facilitate getting to know it. Interviews and questions, however, will help understand deeper the culture when managing and dealing with cases of compliance and ethics for example. Mentoring can help tremendously for culture and some boards are implementing it formally.

Company & Industry – While some boards seek industry experts only, we have boards that explore to bring a diversity of knowledge; perspectives where common issues, common mistakes, and common lessons can enrich a discussion. When it comes to industry knowledge, however, Inboarding is key, new members just the same as existing ones could benefit from the continuous knowledge, industry analysts views about the company and its competitors.

Housekeeping – Beyond the typical corporate guidelines, meetings, pre-reads, documentation management, communications, trading, D&O… we give special attention today to Digital, not only for Board Portals but for its key importance on data management, security, and communication policies.

Board practices today are in the light more than before. A well planned, strategic, social, and operational Onboarding process will help the new board member integrate well and help that board be effective and efficient. A well planned Inboarding process thereafter will ensure the board has all the tools required to help the company navigate to success.


This post was shared also on Mary Francias own blog Serowires

_4820454214Mary Francia is a Management Consultant in Strategy, Technology & Operational Risk.  She is a Certified Director from INSEAD International Directors Programme and Board Member of its IDN Alumni Club.