Climbing the stairs

My journey Steve Jones as a company sponsored CDir

Steve Jones, marketing director at Ishida Europe, saw a gap in his knowledge and approached his organisation to be sponsored through the IoD's Chartered Director Programme.

Find out how and why Steve chose this course, and the benefits he and his organisation have felt since he qualified as a chartered director in 2017.

Why I chose chartered director

On being appointed to the board as an executive director, I appreciated that this wasn’t a senior manager position and that the duties and liabilities of a director were substantially different. To ensure that I contributed optimum value to the board, shareholders, company and employees, I wanted to understand the full scope of the role and develop a framework for effectiveness, hence a training need was identified, and the obvious place to start the search for such training is the IoD. Having identified the chartered director journey I initially secured funding for the Certificate in Company Direction largely based upon the fact that this was my first board appointment.

Gaining funding for the certificate and diploma

Having successfully completed the Certificate in Company Direction, I arranged a meeting to present the key course learnings to the managing director and finance director. In this session I summarised each module and provided some “value adding” recommendations – these were associated with things like: board meeting structure, information provided to the board, development of a “statement of matters reserved for the board”, consideration of a board effectiveness review, requirement to redefine vision, mission and values and also use of the “implementation compass” to depict effectiveness of strategy implementation.

Based upon this summary presentation and recommendations, and the fact that the next stage developed the theory learned in the Certificate to practical board performance (albeit within the security of a class room environment) I secured sponsorship for the Diploma in Company Direction. The key vale in the diploma course came from the actual course content, simulated board meeting (involving both executive and non-executive directors considering an acquisition) and the learning opportunity from other course attendees who bring a diverse informed perspective to all debates.

The chartered director interview

To complete the journey to chartered director required completion of the portfolio of experience and associated interview, an activity again requiring sponsorship. An on-going, consistent commitment to deploy the theory and practice obtained in the previous stages within the “real” board environment and making an observable difference (by constructive challenge and contribution as well as some project implementations based upon my certificate recommendations) secured sponsorship.

How my organisation benefits

In terms of value to an organisation of sponsoring a candidate through the chartered director journey, I believe this is 50% through the qualifications and 50% through completion of the portfolio in preparation for the interview.

Obviously one has to have sufficient experience to be awarded chartered director status, but there are areas of the portfolio – during both the putting together and examination of – which highlight that current practice is perhaps not ideally robust, and correction of these will very definitely lead to better future board and potentially individual board member performance and hence deliver organisational value.

Return on investment

In my case there has been no financial repayment to my organisation, instead the success and return on investment has been demonstrated by transferring the theory and skills obtained in the Certificate and Diploma modules into the boardroom and daily operations coupled with corrective actions associated with areas highlighted by the portfolio.

Get Involved

To find out more about becoming a chartered director click here, or to take part and complete a testimonial for the chartered director hub, get in touch here.

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