SNAP - Director Board Alignment

When considering whether or not to pursue a Board position it’s worth checking your readiness:
  • You understand why you are considering this particular Board.
  • You have undertaken significant research into the organisation.
  • You are confident that the values of the organisation are aligned to your own values.
  • You can allocate the required amount of time to be a productive and contributing member of the Board
  • You know the specific skill mix of the Board and the gap that your skill mix fills and how it complements the other skills at the table.

‍WHY this Board?‍

I understand my drivers and can articulate these with confidence.                    

Further preparation:

If you haven’t read Simon Sinek’s book Start With Why, and you haven’t the time to read a book right now, watch a 7 minute Simon Sinek TED TALK that will provide you with a process to help you to gain clarity about WHY you are looking at this Board position.


I have conducted primary and secondary research into the organisation.

Further preparation:

In the desire to secure a position on a particular Board we can overlook some of the critical due diligence.  We will be more effective as Directors if we have full optics of the Board environment we are exploring. Shelley Dempsey from AICD gives some excellent tips 5 Questions to ask about your next board role for a deeper dive.


I am confident of a good alignment between my values and the values of the organisation.                

Further preparation:

To my mind, this is the most critical of all the drivers to check off with a rating of 5.  While everyone around the Board table will have their own set of values, it is critical to an organisation is clear about the values that underpin the culture. Some of the questions we can ask when exploring this include:

What are the values of the organisation?

How do these values show up in stakeholder engagement?

Staff, Board, Customers, Partners, Funders, Competitors, Supply Chain.

If the culture was a person, what would be their strengths and traits?  Where do you think they need further development?  What plans or initiatives are in place currently that address these developmental needs of our culture?


I can clear adequate time in my schedule to ensure I am meeting all my duties as a Director and can bring an engaged lens to the table.

Further preparation:

We often over-estimate the time available when we take on additional workloads and commitments.

Boards require focus, time and energy from their Directors to perform effectively.  In addition Directors will sit on one or more Board Committees.

Ask:  How often does the Board meet?  What do the Board papers comprise and what is the degree of detail?  What is the length of a Board meeting?  How often do Committees meet?  What is the length of a Committee meeting?  What is the level of Committee work required post meetings? What stakeholder engagement activities are Directors involved in throughout the year?

Once you have a sense of the time commitment required you are in a better position to identify whether or not you have the capacity to serve effectively on this Board.


I am across the skills mix of theBoard and I acknowledge the specific and complementary skill set thatI bring to the Board.    

Further preparation:

Identify the existing skillsets around the Board table - ask the Chair about what they are looking for in terms of specific skill-sets.

Map your own skills against those sought. Use this as an opportunity to identify any gaps in your current Board capabilities.

Where there are gaps, make a plan to up-skill if you really want to join this Board.

Alternatively, source a Board opportunity that is a better fit for your current skill set.

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