Checklist: Chief executive development

By governance expert Ruth Lesirge

Ruth Lesirge advises on chief executive development
Ruth Lesirge advises on chief executive development

Organisations and their boards expend huge amounts of time and energy selecting their chief executives; the annually recurring cost of this post makes it one of their largest ongoing investments.

Even the most talented of leaders do not arrive fully formed; they need to continue learning. The Code of Good Governance makes it clear that trustees are responsible for the development of their organisation's most senior officer.

Chairs of boards have an ideal opportunity to discuss the framework of the chief executive's development when they first establish how they will work together, and to set a budget for this.

Chief executives should also outline an annual professional learning programme. It will need to be framed in the context of the strategic objectives, encompassing both informal and structured activities. This will inform their discussions with the chair and the annual performance review, which should have a section on professional development.

These are the considerations that should drive the investment in a chief executive's development. The art of it is translating them into effective practice.

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