The top must-read IDN blogs of 2021

Over the holiday season, many of us are relaxing, resting and reflecting on 2021 and what 2022 may bring for us, including in our board roles.

Here are six of our top must-read IDN blogs of 2021 that may be useful for you and your colleagues.


1. Governance of Corporate Renewal and Sustainability

Sustainability is increasingly moving to the top of many company agendas. What are the better practices that are emerging? Learn more from Ludo Van der Heyden, Emeritus Professor of Technology and Operations Management, and the INSEAD Chaired Professor of Corporate Governance at INSEAD, and Mats Magnusson, Professor in Product Innovation Engineering of the KTH Royal Institute of Technology.

Positive board dynamics

2. Positive Board Dynamics and Coaching: Key to Superior Performance

Given that the impact of a board’s functioning as a team is a more significant predictor of corporate performance than individual directors’ backgrounds, skills and experience, it’s time for boards to spend more time focusing on their group dynamics and for boards and directors to dedicate time for coaching and mentoring.

Vincent H. Dominé, Adjunct Professor of Organisational Behaviour at INSEAD and IDN Board Member and NED Helen Wiseman IDP-C share their perspectives.

3. Best practices of independent directors in family owned-firms

Leading independent directors understand family board dynamics, build relationships with all board directors, and build a coalition of independent directors. Learn more from Martin Roll, Distinguished Fellow (Family Business) and Entrepreneur in Residence, INSEAD and Xavier Bedoret IDP-C,  IDN Belgium Ambassador, NED and Advisor.

Best practices for boards in a hybrid world

4. Chair Best Practice Exchange

In an inspiring webinar session, Professor Stanislav Shekshnia, Affiliate Professor INSEAD presented the findings of his latest research around Chair best practices, with comments by IDN President, Helen Pitcher OBE

5. Board best practices in an era of hybrid corporate governance

What are the current board best practices across different governance situations, different ownership forms and jurisdictions, and different industries and maturity of companies? Over 100 IDN members had the opportunity to share their international experiences of best practices of hybrid corporate governance in a webinar facilitated by Liselotte Engstam IDP-C.

Improving your board effectiveness – Get a mentor

6. Why every aspiring director should consider a mentor

IDN’s INsights Director Mentoring Programme pairs aspiring INSEAD alumni directors who are early in their board careers with some of INSEAD’s most senior alumni and influential business leaders. Here they share the lessons that go both ways. IDN members, Sreekumar Puthen Thermedam and Naji Majdalani share what they have learned from each other.

Happy Holidays and we look forward to seeing you in 2022!

Introducing Lale Saral Develioglu – IDN Award winner

Winner IDN Award 2021 (Outstanding Mandate, For-Profit category)

In October 2021, INSEAD Directors Network (“IDN”) announced the three winners of the IDN Awards 2021.

Two of the three awards were given to IDN members with Outstanding Mandates during the year. Each has an outstanding track record and has demonstrated the highest levels of integrity.

Lale Saral Develioglu, IDP-C and Board Member, Anadolu Efes (Brewery, Turkey) was the winner of the for-profit category. Lale recently shared with us about her illustrious board career and her advice for aspiring directors.

Tell us about yourself?

Born and raised in Istanbul, I am an engineer by education and way of thinking. Yet my expertise is on the business side: marketing, strategy and business development. I had a rewarding executive career for 26 years in leading multinational companies like Unilever, Turkcell and Pladis, across various geographic regions and finally a global leadership role based in UK.

I am a board director since 2011 on a diverse range of boards in terms of ownership structures, company maturity and industry sectors, including telecommunications, consumer goods, manufacturing, retail, healthcare, gaming and customer service in Turkey, Middle East, CIS countries and Europe.

I am passionate about driving customer centricity, corporate governance and diversity-particularly women presence- in business. I am also a technology enthusiast and angel investor in start-ups in Turkey and USA. I devote a lot of my time to mentoring in various organizations, including Women on Board Turkey, Endeavor and INSEAD Directors’ Network.

Finally, I have also written a book titled “Karar Verdim” (“I Decided”), a memoir and personal development book on effective decision making.

What do you most enjoy about being a director?

It’s an opportunity for continuous learning and adding value to companies at a strategic level, while also creating synergies across them when you are on multiple boards.

I also value the role modeling aspect of my position for all women in business. I would like all women to think “If she did, so can I”.

You are a passionate mentor and regularly share your career advice to younger women. One piece of advice you have said to young women is “Embracing change and challenge is the key.” How did you prepare yourself to take on the challenge of transitioning from an executive career to become a full-time business consultant and board director?

The first quartile of my life was spent with education, like most of us. My second quartile was spent in corporate life. As I neared 50, I wanted to spend the third quartile with a new balance between “giving direction”, “giving a hand” and “giving care”. I had already been preparing for this next phase of my life and the balanced quartile idea really motivated me for the change. I am now giving direction, working as a board director and strategic advisor. I am giving a hand by devoting time to non-profit organizations, start-ups, university students and my mentees. Finally, I also have more time for family, friends and my personal development.

What advice do you have for aspiring female directors?

  1. DEFINE YOURSELF: Define your strengths as a director (not as a manager) and what value you can add to the board room. If the list is not strong enough, define the gaps and prepare a self development plan. Find the intersection of what you are good at and what organizations you would like to be part of.
  2. BUILD: Don’t wait till your executive career is over to plan for a director career. I demanded executive director roles in the group companies. I attended the INSEAD Directors Programme and got the certificate, besides a local director certificate program. I convinced my company to allow me for a NED role while I was still active as an executive. Also continue to read, listen, watch and keep yourself updated. You don’t want to be an outdated director when the role comes.
  3. CONNECT: “Lean In” as Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg had written in her book with the same title. Build you network and trusting contacts as a potential value adding director.