Moving from good to great with the Institute of Directors

Organisations need strong management teams to grow. Directors have to be able to draw on their extensive experience to deliver ambitious growth plans and deal with challenging situations, especially during times of uncertainty and turbulence.

As an IoD Ambassador working with the North East North branch, led by chair Ammar Mirza CBE, one of my responsibilities is to champion high standards and help directors secure the support they need to govern well.

Have you got the capabilities needed to build your business’s resilience and ensure its sustainability throughout the UK’s withdrawal from Europe?

If you’re not sure, the IoD’s Competency Framework is a great place to start. Whether you want to assess your development needs, set new goals, measure performance or succession plan, it’s a great tool for checking your knowledge, skills and mindset.


Not for the faint hearted, the Knowledge section of the IoD Competency Framework will test your expertise around corporate governance, ensuring you have the knowledge to steer your organisation towards achieving its objectives while operating effectively, responsibly, legally and sustainably.

It covers leadership and stakeholder relations to demonstrate how these, combined with a strategically aligned, values-based organisational culture, drive performance and growth.

The strategy element of the Knowledge section expects directors to demonstrate an understanding of vision and value creation and the ability to manage strategy implementation and change.

Directors are also expected to be able to assess their company’s viability and steer its financial performance in order to stay solvent and develop sustainable plans.


There are six sections to the IoD’s competency framework under Skills.

The IoD expects good directors to have the ability to think strategically so they can propose ideas, options and plans that take advantage of available opportunities while reflecting a broad and future-oriented perspective.

Data analysis is critical in order for directors to interpret information, simplify complexity and aid decision-making.

Decision-making doesn’t come easily to everyone, so the competency framework tests the ability to evaluate proposals, handle uncertainty and take appropriate risks in the context of the organisation’s strategy and the appetite of the board.

The remaining three Skills pertain to communication, leadership and influence. The ability to communicate with disparate audiences, inspire others and build strong networks both within and outside the organisation all form part of the expertise that a director should be able to bring to the role.


Last but very much not least within the IoD’s Competency Framework is the section on Mindset.

Directors must be ethical, professional, performance-oriented and independent. They also need an insight into their own emotions and behaviours.

Modelling organisation values and displaying high standards of conduct matters when you’re in a leadership role. It’s why the IoD expects its members to act with integrity, support a learning culture, encourage diverse views and recognise and limit bias.

Recognising that everyone has strengths and weaknesses, the IoD offers personal and professional development through nationally-recognised qualifications, e-learning and a local provision through partnerships with universities and training providers.

Everyone at Astute.Work commits to continuous professional development and in 2020 I have committed to work towards becoming a Chartered Director. How about you?

Photo by Alex Samuels on Unsplash

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