The effective board

Overview of ‘The effective board’

This workshop is designed for current and aspiring directors who are responsible for the direction of the organisation, to ensure that they are able to make an effective contribution to the work of the board by considering:
  • How boards are structured, what they do and how they work
  • Roles and relationships in the boardroom
  • Board processes and effectiveness

The programme is appropriate to both public and private companies (although see our separate programmes for family companies and social enterprises).

Training objectives

At the end of this workshop each participant will have a much greater understanding of:
  • How boards are structured and how they change
  • The roles and relationships at board level and their part in them
  • The work of the board and what and how to contribute to it


This workshop has been designed primarily for recently-appointed directors (and those aspiring to a board position), although there are clear benefits to having the entire board take part.


A practical and pragmatic one-day workshop, featuring examples and case study work to ensure an appropriate balance between the practical and the theoretical.

Special features

This workshop can be adapted to reflect your current processes, whether to ensure compliance with them or to offer an opportunity to review and improve them.

The expert trainer

David is a consultant and trainer in corporate governance and board effectiveness. He is a Senior Lecturer in Strategic Management and Corporate Governance at Wolverhampton Business School and was formerly Programme Director with IoD Director Development West Midlands (and was also a member of the Executive Committee and the Council of the Institute of Directors in Birmingham).

For sixteen of the twenty-five years he spent in manufacturing industry before joining the Business School in 1992, David held board level appointments, including nine years as Managing Director. He has experience of serving on the boards of a family company, of subsidiary companies within a UK plc and a foreign owned multinational, where he was a member of the European Management Group. Originally a market researcher, he has experience of setting up overseas joint ventures and has held personal responsibility for company disposals and acquisitions in the UK. He has wide experience of doing business in Europe.

His extensive practical experience is complemented by his academic work. He is visiting lecturer at two other Business Schools and lectures throughout the UK and abroad, recently in Russia, Hong Kong, the Caribbean and throughout Europe. He is also conducting doctoral research into the role of the non-executive director in private companies and has published on the role of company directors and the effectiveness of boards, especially in the context of family businesses and closely-held companies.

David is a very accomplished trainer, as the feedback from course participants shows:

‘Relaxed style but good engagement’

‘Well balanced and easy to follow’

‘Excellent – very thought-provoking’

‘Lots of opportunity to discuss content of the course’

‘Input will stimulate board discussion’

‘Really enjoyable – participative humorous style with obvious depth of knowledge to back it up’

‘Great pace – very inclusive style – good examples’

‘Good balance of quiz, case studies, video and notes’

‘Delivered a very complex subject extremely effectively’

‘More than met my objectives’

‘Brilliant course’

Course outline – ‘The effective board’

  1. The evolving board
    • Board composition and structure
    • The evolution of the board
    • Foreign boards
    • Alternative boards
    • Future boards
  2. Board roles and relationships
    • Chairman and managing director, finance director
    • Executive and non-executive directors
    • Advisors
    • Search, appointment and removal of directors
  3. The work of the board
    • Strategic thinking and setting policy
    • Accountability and management oversight
    • Decision making and dilemmas at the board
  4. Creating an effective board
    • Process, procedure and rhythm at the board
    • Managing politics and building the team
    • Board appraisal and review
  5. Integrative case study
  6. Review
    • Case study review
    • Course review
    • Actions
    • Close

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