Unlocking Business Potential: ExitBoards

The transition from growth to sale is a critical phase for many companies where an overwhelming number of business owners find themselves unprepared for the journey. Recognising this gap, Virtualnonexecs.com is proud to introduce the ExitBoards Initiative, a strategic program designed to assist pre-transaction founders in maximising their business value and ensuring a smooth, profitable […]

Simplifying Strategy: The Role of Non-Executives and External Advisers in Scaling Up

When scaling businesses, the allure of diversification can sometimes lead to a cluttered corporate strategy, over-extended resources, and diluted brand identity. This can result in a chaotic business environment that hampers growth rather than fostering it. The old adage “Keep it simple” holds particularly true for scale-ups striving to establish themselves in competitive markets. Additionally, […]

Leveraging M&A Expertise in Non-Executive Roles: A Strategic Move for Value Creation

The integration of seasoned M&A professionals as non-executive directors on boards is not just beneficial; it is essential for navigating the complexities and unlocking the potential of M&A. Detailed insights from PitchBook’s Q3 2023 US VC Valuations Report highlight the tangible benefits and strategic advantages of incorporating M&A expertise at the board level. 1. Strategic […]

King or Rich? CEO Transitions: Insights from Harvard Business Review

Startups are funny things. Founders with the dream of being the next Bill Gates or Jeff Bezos is common among founders who envision leading their creations to greatness. However, the reality, as presented in findings from the Harvard Business Review, is often quite different. Analysis of numerous American startups from the late 1990s and early […]

The Strategic Advantage of Hiring a Fractional CFO for Emerging Companies

At Virtualnonexecs, we specialize in understanding the crucial roles within companies, particularly for those in pivotal stages of their growth. Over the years, both through my own experiences and through our extensive network at Virtualnonexecs, we’ve recognised the in-demand nature of CFO expertise, especially from private equity funds, venture capital firms, and family offices. A […]

From Planning to Perspective: The Essential Influence of Non-Execs in M&A

In any M&A landscape, non-executive directors can hold a pivotal position, often bridging gaps and offering invaluable insights that drive successful outcomes. They are uniquely positioned within the boardrooms of countless private companies, bringing a wealth of experience and a distinct perspective that is crucial during transaction processes. Their involvement can significantly influence the preparation, […]

Balancing the Scales: Why Equity Should Lead the Charge in Diverse Boards

In the investment work (private equity, venture capital and so on) every decision can tip the scales towards success or failure. Recently, the spotlight has turned towards the composition of boards, specifically through the lens of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI). But is there a secret ingredient in the DEI formula that could redefine the […]

The Founder’s Circadian Clock: The Indispensable Role of Non-Executive Directors

In the quiet hours of the morning or the deep silence of night, there’s a mysterious phenomenon experienced by many – waking up moments before an alarm pierces the calm. This internal mechanism, often referred to as our circadian clock, reveals our body’s innate ability to anticipate and prepare us for what’s next, ensuring we’re […]

Knowing when enough is enough: Sage advice for non-executives.

“Stop having hard conversations with people who don’t want change.” (Anthony Hopkins). Applying the essence of Anthony Hopkins’ powerful words to the context of non-executive directors advising companies that disregard their guidance, we can frame a perspective that underscores the importance of discernment, self-respect, and the judicious investment of one’s energy and expertise. As a […]

Scars as Stars: How Ex-Operators are Revolutionising Non-Executive Roles in PE and VC

Venture Capital and Private Equity, particularly within the mid-market sector, have seen a palpable shift – a transformation in the approach to hiring non-executive directors that is reshaping the landscape of investments and corporate governance. Gone are the days when the role of a non-executive director was confined to the boardroom, primarily focused on oversight […]

The VNXD Operator Network: A Game Changer for Family Offices in the UK, UAE, and USA

Family offices have often been perceived through the same lens as private equity and venture capital funds. However, their operational and investment strategies diverge significantly. Unlike their PE and VC counterparts, family offices typically engage in fewer investments and exhibit a more conservative approach towards spending on professional fees, particularly in the pre-deal phase. This […]

Bringing In A Non-Executive Director: The Madman’s Guide To Business Sabotage.

There’s an enigmatic piece, often whispered about in hallowed boardrooms – the non-executive director (NED). You might have heard these creatures bring invaluable insight, experience, and oversight to a company. But let’s be absolutely clear: hiring a NED is about as sensible as using a chocolate teapot. Here’s my guide on why roping in a […]

Are recruiters the answer to building a non-executive director career?

Finding a non-executive director (NED) role via traditional recruiters can often feel like a quest for the proverbial needle in a haystack. This is not merely an anecdotal observation but a reality rooted in the economics and practices of the recruitment industry. Recruiters, by their very nature, are driven by the potential return on their […]

The Secret Sauce of Deal Flow: The Non-Executive Directors’ Club

If you’re a PE or VC fund and you’re not rubbing elbows with non-executive directors, you might as well be searching for treasure without a map. OK, they’re not the only route to deal flow but they can be invaluable! In the grand ‘Circle of Life’ of deals – from Series A to Z – […]

If You Don’t Like Where You Are, Move. You Are Not a Tree.

As the founder of Virtualnonexecs and having advised literally thousands of non-executive directors over the past decade, I’ve witnessed a curious phenomenon. Many professionals tell me about their ambition to build a rich portfolio of clients as a NED, yet find themselves rooted in inaction. It reminds me of a simple, yet profound saying, “If […]

From Experience to Innovation: The New Age Dynamics of Boardroom Leadership

In the serene waters of the business world, a new wave is rising – one that is fresher, bolder, and distinctly younger. This is the wave of the modern non-executive, a sprightly breed of board advisors, chairs, and fractional board-level contributors who are surfing their way into the boardrooms with a zest hitherto unseen. Gone […]

More Than Money: Network-Driven Strategies for Savvy Investors

In the highly charged game of venture capital and private equity, the rules of engagement have evolved. Gone are the days when a hefty cheque was enough to win over the most promising entrepreneurs. Today’s savvy business founders seek more than just financial infusion; they look for partners who bring substantial value to the table. […]

Shaping the Future: Non-Executives’ Vital Role in Extending ESG Boundaries

The concept of giving is not just a moral imperative; it is a cornerstone of successful business practice. This notion is particularly salient in today’s corporate world, where the integration of giving into business strategies has become increasingly significant. This is especially true for non-executive directors, whose unique position allows them to contribute significantly to […]

Outnumbered and Outmatched: The Rise of VNXD’s Operator Network in VC Circles

If you thought the world of venture capital and early-stage investing was cut-throat, think again. It’s worse. Some liken it to navigating a shark-infested ocean, where a “vast network” is the lifeboat every VC clings to, touted as the ultimate ace up their sleeve. It’s the cheat code that turns a high-stakes game of Monopoly […]

The Strategic Asset: Why Startups and Scale-Ups Need Non-Executive Directors

When navigating the complexities of scaling a business, the insight of a Non-Executive Director (NED) can be transformative. Often perceived merely as overseers of corporate governance, NEDs’ roles, especially in the context of startups and scale-ups, are far more nuanced and integral to growth than traditional views might suggest. Beyond Governance: The Active Role of […]

The Invisible Conductor: Deciphering the Paradox of the Non-Executive Director

Imagine a symphony orchestra without a conductor. The musicians are skilled, each playing their respective instruments with expertise, but there’s no one to lead them, no visible guiding hand to unify the diverse sounds into a harmonious melody. This is the curious case of the non-executive director, a role often misunderstood because of its title […]

The Contagious Mind Disease: Raising Money vs. Making Money

There’s a peculiar ailment that seems to be spreading like wildfire among the younger generations. It’s a mind disease so infectious that it can make a room full of people break into a chorus of buzzwords and tech jargon faster than you can say “venture capital.” Ladies and gentlemen, meet the epidemic of thinking that […]

Money Talks, Wisdom Walks: The Non-Executive Director’s Dilemma

Entering the non-executive fray with pound signs in your eyes is akin to purchasing a fish with aspirations of companionship. You’ll find the investment returns neither affection nor conversation, and any attempts to cash in on your emotional outlay will be met with the cold, unblinking stare of the aquatic.

The AI Obsession: Separating the Pink Elephants from the Real Gems!

There’s an undeniable allure to the idea of Artificial Intelligence (AI). It’s the buzzword of the century, the promise of a brighter, more efficient future. Companies across the globe are diving headfirst into the AI frenzy, desperately trying to become the next “AI adopter” to remain relevant in a rapidly changing landscape. But here’s the […]

Hoping for an IPO Miracle: VCs Dream the Impossible Dream

In the grand theatre of venture capitalism, nothing says “high hopes and shattered dreams” quite like an IPO. 2023, for instance, showcased this epic drama as VCs clutched onto the glimmers of hope that IPOs like Klaviyo and Instacart brought, only to watch them fizzle out like a wet firework on Bonfire Night. A Glimmer […]

The “Time-Tested” Due Diligence of Executive Hiring: Why NEDs are the Secret Sauce

Have you ever bought a product purely based on its glossy advert and then found out it didn’t quite meet expectations? Enter the world of executive hiring. We often rely on well-polished CVs, rehearsed interviews, and references that are essentially “pre-approved testimonials”. But what if there was a way to bypass this superficial layer and […]

Buying It Back: Entrepreneurs Who Took the Leap (Again)

And the somewhat laughable life lessons they picked up along the way. 1. Zico Coconut Water:Don’t let giants babysit your baby When Mark Rampolla handed over Zico to Coca-Cola, he might have imagined sipping coconut water on a sun-kissed beach. Little did he realize, he’d be back at the counter ordering his own brand. Who […]

Not Just a Numbers Game: How Human Capital Drives Investment Success

Ah, investing. A sport where the person with the fanciest spreadsheet used to win. But let’s be honest, the financial ecosystem has evolved. It’s no longer just about crunching numbers or having a killer instinct. These days, you’re only as good as your network—or should we say, your “operator network.” Let’s talk turkey (and no, […]

Quiet Swoopers: The Subtle Power of Non-Execs in Business Renovation

From the Boardroom to the Circus Tent: Choosing the Non-Executive Life Being a non-executive director can sometimes feel like joining an exclusive club – a gathering of the corporate elite, sipping on aged whisky and debating the existential concerns of the business world. But, just as not every Joe can don the top hat and […]

The Name Game: Avoiding Silly Personal Branding as a Non-Executive Director

Setting sail on a non-executive director portfolio career is like venturing into uncharted waters. As you navigate this exciting journey, one crucial aspect that could either make or break your success is your personal branding. While it may be tempting to go for something quirky or funny, choosing a silly name for your website or […]

The Exalted ‘Chief’ of Titles: The Hilarious Minefield of Senior Executive Recruitment

Title: “The Exalted ‘Chief’ of Titles: The Hilarious Minefield of Senior Executive Recruitment” Every year in the UK, we bear witness to the mystifying migration of the ‘chief’, ‘director’, or ‘VP’. They soar from LinkedIn profile to LinkedIn profile, apparently changing hosts faster than a flitting sparrow. Today, I want to address this peculiar phenomenon: […]

Unveiling the Power of Non-Executives: Easing Burdens and Charting Trajectories

In the vast and often unpredictable business ocean, finding the right path to success can be a daunting task. While no single person can eliminate all challenges, the presence of a non-executive can prove to be a valuable compass and map. These seasoned professionals, with their wealth of experience and extensive network of contacts, possess […]

The Crash and Burn Phenomenon: Founders, Non-Executives, and the Art of Startups

The Rise and Demise of the Fearless Founders No one will ever dispute the genius of a founder. They are the visionaries, the trailblazers, the veritable champions of innovation who turn an abstract idea into a tangible, revenue-generating entity. These are the people who fill our business lore, from Steve Jobs to Elon Musk. They […]

Should Generative AI be on the board agenda?

In the rapidly evolving digital landscape, emergent technologies such as Generative Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Large Language Learning Models (LLMs), notably ChatGPT, have not yet fully penetrated boardroom agendas, a situation that necessitates immediate attention. Mark Freebairn, our Head of CFO and Board Practice, provides a comprehensive assessment of the potential risks and implications associated […]

Non-Executive Directors: A Tale of ‘Give and Take’ on the Boardroom Chessboard

Once upon a time, in the corporate jungle of the United Kingdom, there was a breed of creatures known as the ‘Non-Executive Directors,’ or ‘NEDs’ in the local vernacular. They were an unusual species, often plucked from the high branches of executive trees, with a brilliant plumage of skills and experience, and a hearty appetite […]

Getting sh*t done! The invaluable role of a non-executive director

In the fast-paced world of business, the mantra is simple: get sh*t done. This statement is not just a catchy phrase; it is the fundamental essence of business operations. However, staying on top of tasks while ensuring strategic alignment with long-term goals is easier said than done. This is where the unsung heroes of boardrooms, […]

Charting Success: The Indispensable Role of Non-Executive Directors in Attracting Investment

If you’ve ever tried to scale a business, you’ll know it’s a bit like climbing Mount Everest without the right equipment – risky, challenging, and downright cold at times. That’s where our un-sung heroes come into play. Non-executive directors bring a wealth of experience, insights, and much-needed external perspective, thereby ensuring the company does not […]

Positioning Your Non-Executive CV For Success

As the business world becomes increasingly digital and competitive, having a compelling and keyword-enriched profile is crucial for those seeking any role, particularly non-executive director positions. create This article explores the importance of keywords in relation to Applicant Tracking Systems (ATS) and how they can make a difference in your job search. Understanding Applicant Tracking […]

Can a non-executive director help sell my business?

In the sale of a company, non-executive directors (NEDs) can play a crucial role in providing valuable support and insight throughout the transaction. While the primary responsibility for the sale rests with the owners, advisors, and senior management team, experienced NEDs can provide objective third-party advice and help ensure that the sale is approached with […]

Entrepreneurs Stuck in the Quicksand of Doubt

Businesses often hesitate to invite non-executive directors to join their board, as they find themselves sinking in the quicksand of doubt and uncertainty. This reluctance stems from the murky waters of Ignorance. At first glance, it might seem ironic to associate entrepreneurs with doubt. After all, they possess the vision and courage—two indispensable entrepreneurial traits—to […]

Silent Non-Executives! Finding their voice in the boardroom.

Taking on a non-executive director role at another business can be an excellent career move for fast-rising or senior executives looking to broaden their experience. However, the issue of “silent non-executives” is prevalent in many boardrooms. This phenomenon is not simply a result of poor executive search processes, but rather a complex issue that highlights […]

Assessing first time non-executive directors

In today’s fast-paced business world, boards face the challenge of keeping up with technological changes and market disruptions. It can be difficult for them to stay relevant and make meaningful contributions to their company’s strategy without continually refreshing their knowledge and experience. This is why boards need to seek out directors who can bring cutting-edge […]

Fountain of Folly: 10 Red Flags to Spot a Fake Guru and Protect Yourself!

Ah, the age-old question: how can you tell the difference between a real guru and a fake one? Unfortunately, the answer isn’t always clear-cut. That said, there are some tell-tale signs that you should be wary of anyone who claims to have a fountain of knowledge and is selling access to it. You know the […]

Things they won’t tell you about being a non-executive director

Congratulations, you’ve made it to the big leagues! You’re now a non-executive director, the king of the boardroom, the guru of governance, the master of meetings. But wait, what’s that? They didn’t tell you about the sleepless nights, the endless conference calls, and the pile of reports? Well, buckle up buttercup, because we’re about to […]

5 reasons you will not find a non-executive director role

Well folks, buckle up, because I’m about to drop some truth bombs on why you’ll never get your hands on a non-executive director job. Despite it being the equivalent of the golden ticket in the corporate world, with prestige, fame, and a fat paycheque, it’s not as easy to grab as you think. So sit […]

The importance of learning for non-executive directors

Professional development is not just for undergrads, it’s for everyone! Especially non-executives who think they have it all figured out. Think again! Just like a plant needs water, non-executives need professional development to grow. Here’s why professional development is crucial for non-executives: it keeps them up to date with the latest trends and technologies. Imagine […]

The importance of professional services networking for non-executives

It’s definitely true that having a strong professional network can be incredibly valuable. Building and maintaining relationships with people in your industry can open up opportunities for career advancement, provide support and mentorship, and help you stay informed about the latest developments and trends in your field. One of the key benefits of a professional […]

How to deal with a difficult board member

It can be challenging to work with a board member who is causing difficulties. From time to time this will fetaire as a part of any non-executive or Chair’s role.Luckily for the non-executive, it will fall to the Chairperson but if you are reading tjis as a non-executive director, here are a few strategies you […]

The importance of your peer network when raising investment

Networking can be an important aspect of fundraising for a company. Building relationships with potential investors and industry professionals can provide valuable insights and connections that can help you in your fundraising efforts. Networking can also help you identify potential investors who may be interested in your company, and it can help you build credibility […]

Raising investment for a pre-revenue start-up

First of all, “Congratulations” on reaching the MVP (minimum viable product) stage with your startup! This is an exciting time as you are likely on the verge of launching your product or service to the market and beginning to generate revenue. There are a few key things to consider as you move forward with your […]

Scaling your business using a non-executive with platform business experience

There are many platform businesses that have achieved significant size and success around the world. By plugging into ex-executives or senior leaders within these businesses, it is possible that other, less tech-focused companies can do the same! Here are a few examples of some of the biggest platform businesses: Amazon – Amazon is a leading […]

Top tips on networking for non-executive directors

Non-executives can network in much the same way as other professionals. Some effective strategies for networking as a non-executive include attending industry events, joining professional organisations, reaching out to potential connections via networks like Virtualnonexecs.com, email or LinkedIn, offering value to others, and following up regularly to maintain relationships. Another effective way for non-executives to […]

Can a non-executive help me sell my SaaS business?

So many entrepreneurs feel trapped in SaaS businesses, especially with the pressure of SaaS companies that are yet to achieve profitability. But there are optins available and selling a SaaS company is not only about current profit (or even revenue). So determining the value of your SaaS business is a complex process that involves considering […]

The non-executive CV and ATS

Before applying for any non-executive director job, you need to understand the rise of the ATS (Applicant Tracking System). Application tracking systems (ATS) are software programs that are used by employers to manage and evaluate job applications. These systems are designed to help employers automate and streamline the process of reviewing and evaluating job applications, […]

Do non-executive directors typically receive equity?

After the question “How do I find my first non-executive director role?” the topic of this post is the next on the list. It is one that has no defined answer but I’ll try to cover each area of the topic. If i join a business is it better to join with salary or equity? […]

How do I find my first non-executive director role and am I relevant?

Finding your first non-executive director role doesn’t have to be a daunting task! And once you’ve found the first role, being a non-executive director can be a rewarding and challenging career path, offering the opportunity to contribute to the strategic direction and success of a company. However, it is important to carefully consider if this […]

Building your personal board of directors

In movies, there are the stars and there are the supporting actors. Journeys, are best experienced with friends or family; at least that’s my take on it. But we don’t only experience journeys in our personal lives, we experience them in our professional and business lives, too.  Behind every successful person is a group of […]

Seeing around corners. The super powers that non-executives bring to your business

Unless you’ve got special powers, it’s highly likely that you are unable to see around corners!  But wouldn’t that power be a great skill to possess, especially in business? In today’s business landscape, many of the fastest growing privately owned businesses have found a way to do just this – to look around corners!   How […]

Making the step up to become a chair

Making the step up! For many non-executives who have been around the block a few times, it may appeal to become a chair.  Whilst many enjoy the role, it is true that this is not always an obvious move and it simply will not work for many. There are many reasons that a non-executive director […]

What non-executives need to know about Applicant Tracking Systems

Imagine spending all that time on your CV to receive rejection after rejection.  Now compound that with the fact that non-executive director jobs and other fractional director roles are some of the most applied for roles and you face a daunting prospect and little no chance of finding a role through applying. But there are […]

How to start a portfolio career

It’s a conundrum. How to expand your portfolio career when you don’t currently have a portfolio of clients or even any portfolio work to show.  But there is a way. First of all, remember that just because you don’t have a traditional set of clients doesn’t mean you don’t have a portfolio of experience.  Giving […]

How to win your first non-executive director role

Think of finding your first non-executive director role as being a process – similar to starting out in your early career when networking was so important. Aspiring (as well as established) non-executives should use a number of options for professional networking; nowadays, the online option is usually the easiest with in-person still being a tried […]

Mistakes to avoid when networking

We all know that networking is essential for most business professionals.  It is also a key skill that many successful entrepreneurs have fine tuned over many years and this has helped them build world class businesses.  In many instances it has also helped raise billions in venture capital and other financing rounds.  Where most people […]

Making long term business relationships

Remember this: quality trumps quantity every time. So how did we get to the point where some CEOs and business leaders believe that networking is about having the most connections, the most views, the most likes, these days? Only by focusing on quality connections, the ones that actually enhance our professional lives will we flourish as people […]

Board.Ai – The difference between contacts and connections

Why do businesses and (some) professional advisors not get it?  Connecting and meeting are two completely separate terms and yet we seem to believe that “having thousands of connections” is akin to being connected.  Well, it is, but not really! It is vitally important that we differentiate between meeting and connecting. Whilst we undoubtedly use […]

The shareconomy; connecting non-executive directors

The sharing economy (or “shareconomy”) is an economic model defined as Peer-to-Peer (P2P) based activity of acquiring, providing, or sharing access to goods and services that is often facilitated by a community-based online platform. It was the inspiration for the creation of Virtualnonexecs.com. For thousands of years, communities have shared assets, but the dawn of the […]

The first 90 days as a non-executive director

Great!  You’ve found your non-executive director role but now what?  Below are “hints and tips” gathered from speaking with 1000s of established non-executive directors over 20 years. 1. Create your own plan Most C-Level Board Directors will know that one of the most important preparations you can make is to create your work plan. Focusing […]

The sort of climate change we enjoy….

In a recent survey of what makes us typically British, the number one feature was talking about the weather. We all do it. “Mornin’. Bit nippy today, eh?” “Let’s hope this sun’s here to stay!” “Aye, but you should’ve seen the snow when I were a lad!” Non-executives are no different – only when they […]

Selling your business. The value of a strategic exit plan.

Other than losing your virginity, there’s not many things you’ll only do once.  Selling your business is, perhaps one of them! OK, I caught your attention with the rather childish opener! But seriously, selling a business is a major decision and one that can be daunting.  But there is help out there and not just […]

Why an advisory board is the best kept secret of successful entrepreneurs!

Asking (most) Board Advisors if they would like to advise a tech start-up is like asking a car enthusiast if they would like to own James Bond’s Aston Martin DB5.  The answer can only ever be “Yes!” In previous decades, making the connection was much easier, whereas nowadays, start-ups have an eye-watering number of resources […]

Advisory Boards. Can you handle the truth?

“The most inexpensive and value adding decision I have ever taken in my business career.”  This is how one entrepreneurial CEO explained her decision to build an Advisory Board.   What, you’ve not heard of an Advisory Board?  You’re not alone. Put simply, an Advisory Board is an informal body of experts from outside of a […]

Is there really a hidden jobs market?

I saw an old advert yesterday – it was a business from around 15 years ago who promised its clients access to a panacea of £six figure “Off Market” jobs`! . It was eventually sued many hundreds of times and was eventually shut down (No surprise there!)  But it got me thinking about the plethora […]

Why endorsements matter

Think about yourself as a brand.  Every successful brand will experience the positive effect of endorsement, but only a small fraction of companies every pay for them. The same is true in business.  And if you are serious about your non-executive or board advisory career, you should be seeking this magic dust! Think about it; […]

In The Spotlight: Viddyoze on hiring a non-executive director

The Other Side: Hiring My First NED by David Chamberlain, Co-Founder of Viddyoze.com I had heard of Non-Executive Directors (NEDs) many times before. But I never really knew what they did or what role they played in organisations. I also thought that you only ever found them in FTSE-listed companies. Having now gone through the […]

Who is the most powerful, CEO or Chairman?

If you want to witness a great battle (and I mean better than the finale of Gladiator!) then put yourself between a feuding Chairman and CEO!  Of course, these battles are rare but they do make for good (or bad) viewing when they do happen.  But who has more power, the CEO or the Chair? […]

Start-ups. Cry babies, liars and lazy arses need not apply!

Start-ups!  Who needs um, aye? Don’t you find it funny that it is only on rare occasions we hear of start up failures but almost every day we hear of start ups selling for eye watering sums of money?  Almost every business publication leads with headlines of founders “cashing out” for mega bucks!  But what […]

How non-executives are giving SMEs the transfusion they need!

IF YOU’RE EVER IN THE RAT BUSINESS… ‘Come in!’’ — the Mayor cried, looking bigger And in did come the strangest figure! His queer long coat from heel to head Was half of yellow and half of red And he himself was tall and thin, With sharp blue eyes, each like a pin Whether you’re […]

“Boring as rat sh*t”. How to run effective Board meetings.

“Boring as rat sh*t”.  That’s how one CEO explained Board meetings to me, some years ago.  Charming.  But board meetings shouldn’t be perceived as a negative part of running your businesses. As a corporate governance requirement, here are a few ways you can get the maximum from your Board meetings for you and your fellow […]

Rule Number 1 of exporting: Don’t tell a whole nation to “F**k off”!

So, you’ve made the decision to expand your customer base and therefore your profitability by looking to export. A wise move, especially in today’s global market. A company that exports its goods, services etc is far more likely to grow at a faster rate than if it had focused exclusively on the domestic market. It […]

Tips for getting more leads from LinkedIn

If you can count on the fingers of one foot the number of leads you have had from Linkedin, then you are missing a trick or five! In this article I will explore the simplest ways for non-executive directors and others to quickly maximise the chances of success on LinkedIn. What is in it for […]

7 reasons you are not getting that non-executive director job

Your non-executive director attempts are failing. Your CV is being ignored. Ring true? It usually starts with that coveted document you have spent much time (and possibly money) on! THE CV/RESUME! It’s an age old problem; you’ve got the experience, you’ve got the credibility but the CV keeps falling on deaf ears!  But why?  Well, […]

Are non-executives caught up in IR35?

How does IR35 impact NEDs and can you operate through your own limited company? As a Non-Executive Director (NED), by very definition, you are an expert in your area.  Invariably you will be asked to take on consultancy work, be that at the organisation you perform your Non-Exec duties or within another organisation.  In this […]

Peter Thiel’s top tips include “Do one thing uniquely well”.

There are not many people on the planet as successful as Peter Thiel. He’s made £billions from various tech companies and follow on investments. When it comes to business, he’s no mug. Here is his Top Ten tips on being successful. Our thoughts follow the vieo below: Do one thing uniquely well. Without any doubt, […]

Retired. Now what? How about a non-executive director career?

You’ve spent 30 or 40 years working in your full time, executive or senior management role and all of a sudden, you’re “retired”. Great.  If you can handle retirement and were counting down the days til you could pack the golf clubs in to the back of the car and saunter on down to the […]

SHOW ME THE MONEY! How much do non-executives get paid?

Ironically, it’s the sixty four million dollar question; “How much do non-executive directors get paid?” Let’s explore! Hopefully you saw the irony in the image because if you’re in it for the money, you should probably find a new direction.  If you want to really get into the bones of a company and work with […]

Diversity in Boardrooms

By Bram Vis – Guest Contributor Businesses succeed or fail for all sorts of reasons – not in the scope of this of this presentation – but we all are very familiar with the usual suspects –  The right product The right price for the product The right skillset of the company going forward The […]

The questions to ask a non-exective director

It often starts and ends with “strategy” when it comes to the role of a non-executive director when reviewing the composition of a Board of Directors.  Over the last fifteen years in the Non-Exec space, the critical priority for boards has been aligning talent with the strategy of the company; get this wrong and it […]

New Kids On The Block: Digital Non-Executive Directors

‘Oh brave new world, that has such people in it!’ Shakespeare, who wrote the above line in his play The Tempest, would have perfectly understood the simple truth in the saying Omnia mutantur nos et mutamur in illis. After all, Latin was an essential part of his schooling. Confused? OK. Let me explain. Everyone who […]

Singing like a canary: The value of the non-executive director

At one time, when coal miners needed to test the quality of air deep underground, they employed canaries, who were more susceptible to the presence of toxic gases than humans. When a canary stopped singing, it was a sure sign of danger ahead. That was all well and good in coal mining [unless of course […]

Who can help my business in tough situations?

“Denial,” said Mark Twain, “ain’t just a river in Egypt.” Mark Twain wasn’t talking specifically about start-up companies, or companies in general, but his words ring true, nevertheless. Many companies think they can get along quite nicely without the need for outside directors. Why bring ’em in when we can make all the right decisions […]

What have non-executive directors ever done for us?

Let’s be honest, who needs Non-Execs? All right, they might bring a clear-eyed detachment to some of the more difficult decisions you’ll have to make, because they’re seeing the issues with a fresh and new perspective. But if I want clear-eyed, new perspectives I can go to an optician’s. See? And please don’t come out […]

Non-Executive Directors- languishing in recruiters’ purgatory!

There was a director called Joe Who wanted his business to grow. Someone said, ‘N.E.Ds Used to cost us big fees But it ain’t necessarily so!’ There is still a place for headhunters – recruiters – to help fill executive positions, but for non-executive directorships, there are alternative ways for companies to make the right […]

VirtualNonExecs.com – It’s about time!

Imagine your television breaks down. Or your combi-boiler? Or your computer? Where do you look for someone to fix things? Well, there are several places to go – foremost of which are a plethora of “all things to all men” directory sites like the (now online version of…) Yellow Pages. Remember that big yellow book? […]

The inexorable rise of the Digital Non-Executive Director

The Game’s Afoot! Oscar Wilde once said, “It is a very sad thing that nowadays there is so little useless information.” He was, of course, speaking with his usual irony, but in this data-rich age his words have never rung truer. Every contact your company makes with the consumer, even on the most minuscule level, […]

“Whatifitis” – Nasty disease affecting entrepreneurs!

Anyone Entrepreneurs Suffering From Whatifitis? Companies often cast a suspicious eye on the idea of bringing onto the board non-executive directors. This fear and wariness develops because of exposure to an insidious and debilitating disorder: Ignorance. OK, it seems somewhat ironic, accusing an entrepreneur of fear. Someone with the vision and the courage [two essential […]

Money for nothin’ and your (drinks) for free. No longer.

The days of free lunches, sleepy afternoons in a comfortable board room chair and money for nothin are long gone! Taking a role as a non-executive director isn;t a breeze and for those who think it’s a pocket money job are mistaken; it brings with it huge responsibilities. You’ve been brought onto the board to […]

Why accountants could be your best bet finding your first non-executive role

Accountants, love um or hate um are “plugged in”. What do I mean by “plugged in”? Well, I don’t mean they’re attached to a power socket! Accountants are often the first port of call for most entrepreneurs – tax headache, audit requirement, help recruiting a finance director into their business – the list goes on. […]

Innovation Versus Disruption. More Than One Way To Kill A Fly!

There’s a lot of chatter these days about disrupting practices in business. Someone comes along with a new idea that changes the way we look at things – new products or services that challenge established ones and cause some consternation among those companies who have been hitherto happy to coast along [a phrase that could […]

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