Charlotte highlighted the multi-dimensional nature of balance which includes and extends far beyond notions of equality or diversity. She highlighted the importance of a balanced board and referred to the strength of the research and evidence base which illustrates the critical role that a balanced board plays in the success of businesses. A key take-away from the lecture was the importance of ‘hiring someone who doesn’t fit in’ and the inclusion of board members that have the skills and confidence to ask irritating questions and challenge prevailing wisdoms. Another was the important role that mentoring has played in her career and in developing her thinking. Perhaps surprisingly Charlotte highlighted the value of being mentored by a young person and the intelligence and insights that can emerge from such a relationship. Charlotte emphasised the importance of ‘talking the talk’ and the steps she has taken to ensure that the IOD has a balanced board to guide activities and meet the challenges of today and tomorrow.
Charlotte is a former investment banker who has held directorships at several public limited companies, chaired a FTSE-250 firm (Kennedy Wilson Europe Real Estate) and has run her own successful enterprises ventures. A recording of the lecture is available here.