An IoD member since 2000, Murray currently works with desalination company Subsea Infrastructure and runs his own company, Actinium CS, which helps companies develop high-performance cultures.
Why did you join the IoD?
"The Chartered Director course was the real interest and membership went along with that. The benefits materialised later, especially when I started to work on my own. My local IoD branch in Berkshire was very active; they had lots of great events and I found the network absolutely invaluable. Also, with the Chartered Director programme came a second network with very good meetings where we learn a lot from each other. The information centre has provided me with very good commercial information and have a great research team and the London facilities at 116, Pall Mall are fantastic."
What does the IoD mean to you?
"It is about its purpose and what it represents: good ethical practices and strong leadership philosophies. It's an organisation of which I am proud to be a member. Also the IoD influences the economic and political debate. I am a member of Policy Voice: along with 3,000 other members, I respond to short, effective monthly surveys which have an effect in terms of the reports they generate."
Has membership brought you any value in real terms?
"Yes, for example, my company Actinium, where I do strategy leadership, high-performance development and corporate governance among other things. I met another Chartered Director who helped out with board evaluations and that translated into real bankable business."
What would you like to see from the IoD in the future?
"Its purpose is to be the standard bearer of all that is good and reputable in business, especially at board and director level, so it is important to use that lofty position to continue to hold out good practice as being the only practice acceptable at board level."
Why did you enrol on the Chartered Director (CDir) course?
"It's about personal development. If you don’t take an interest in yourself, how can you expect an employer or anyone else to? When I came back to the UK in 2000, I looked around and the CDir programme ticked all the boxes.”
How did the CDir programme help you in your role?
"I was in a much more formal environment and needed to understand how I had to perform within that. Not just the strategic or business side of things, but corporate responsibilities, the Companies Act, what my liabilities were – pretty big stuff for somebody who had just been slumming around Asia making his own decisions."
How did the IoD coaching culture differ from others?
"The structure and content are good, but having a group of likeminded people with similar responsibilities in terms of directorships and board accountabilities to kick things around with is what makes it great."
How did you get started in your career?
“I worked with BT and Cable & Wireless and then we started up a joint venture with China Telecoms, which led to a move to Shanghai. I won an award from the Chinese government for the second-best-performing joint venture in China. Then I returned to the UK and got involved in the water industry.”
What lessons have you learnt in your career?
"Don’t jump too soon. Make sure that if you are going to make a move, it is for the right reasons and do your due diligence. Equally, don't jump too late. Don’t get trapped by an organisation lacking good core ethos. It won’t go very far or be much fun."