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John Dodd

John Dodd



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Thought Leadership


Adding Value as a NED

All businesses, large and small can benefit from the insights and experience of a well-balanced and effective Board. Proper governance and guidance is essential to support the CEO and executive team, while advancing the interests of shareholders. Balancing the dual roles of business advisor and watch-dog, while remaining objective, can be a challenge for the newly appointed Non-Executive. This is particularly the case in smaller organisations where the temptation to get closer to day-to-day activities and the decision-making process may be even greater.

Wickland Westcott recently co-hosted with Grant Thornton the latest in a series of Non-Executive Director dinners in Manchester. These events are focused on the transition from executive to non-executive and the different perspectives and behaviours required in the two roles.  The speaker was Richard Law, who has been Chief Executive of Chester-based identification verification business GB Group since 2002. The evening addressed two key areas. The first was the value and support Richard derives from his Non-Executive Board colleagues, as GB Group navigates its way through a period of significant acquisitive international expansion. The second area of discussion concerned how Richard has positioned himself, as he builds his own portfolio of external Non-Executive Directorships.

For the role of non-executive he identified a small number of specific characteristics that are of prime importance.  Richard believes that ‘fit’ is the key determinant – essentially a shared set of core values and the willingness to pull together as a team, despite individual differences in background and experience.  Second, Non-Executive Directors should be recruited to bring a particular specialism (acquisitions, finance, technology exploitation, international data regulatory environments, etc). Last, but by no means least, is the ability to come up with ‘killer observations’ – original and unique perspectives on the business, its activities, future direction, or processes that can prove to be game-changers in either the short and long term.

Wickland Westcott works closely with Chairmen, SIDs and Nominations Committee Chairs to assess where the gaps might be on their respective Boards, and advise on the correct balance and structure to help make them as value enhancing as possible. We facilitate the creation of high performance teams and then work with the Board (individually and collectively) to help achieve their desired outcomes.

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