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Developing Competent Directors and Effective Boards

Colin Coulson‐Thomas (Chairman, Adaptation Ltd, UK)

Journal of Management Development

ISSN: 0262-1711

Article publication date: 1 January 1992



Examines the disturbing facts as revealed by a programme of studies of directors and boards. Directorial qualities and competences are distinct from the skills that are sought in managers. Nine out of ten directors received no formal preparation for their boardroom appointments; there is little consensus concerning the contribution expected from members of boards; only one in eight boards operates any form of periodic and formal appraisal of personal effectiveness in the boardroom; and three‐quarters of chairmen believe the effectiveness of their companies′ boards could be improved. Examines the role of the board, what makes a “good” director, and what should be done to improve the competence of company directors and the effectiveness of boards. Argues that the distinction between direction and management needs to be better understood, and that the chairman should take responsibility for director competence and board effectiveness. All directors should be made aware of their duties and responsibilities, and the boardroom contributions of individual directors should be assessed annually by the chairman. The board should examine its own effectiveness at least once a year.



Coulson‐Thomas, C. (1992), "Developing Competent Directors and Effective Boards", Journal of Management Development, Vol. 11 No. 1, pp. 39-49.




Copyright © 1992, MCB UP Limited

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