4th April 2017

Honing your board game technique

You’re ambitious and you know your sector. Your technical skills are top notch and you’re a confident manager. So what’s the next step on your route to construction stardom? Surely it’s time to join the company board?

All too often, talented professionals find their careers stalling at this point. This is not because they lack the motivation or drive to climb higher, but simply because they require a new set of skills – and have little time or opportunity to develop them.

Employers and recruiters are finding the situation similarly frustrating. They’ve been telling the Academy that they’re keen to have more diverse representation at board level. They want to encourage the very best young talent of whatever gender, orientation or ethnic minority, but the pool of candidates with the right experience and qualifications is limited.

So I’m proud to announce the launch the Academy’s new Preparation for Board Appointments course, which aims to bridge this gap, creating an easier pathway from middle to senior management. 

To clarify, you don’t actually have to be on a board to take this course. Its whole raison d’être is helping you to prepare for your next big career step -   but you will need to demonstrate some seniority of role, and have a letter of support from your employer.  In-depth knowledge of the construction sector is also a must.

What you’ll get back, in a supportive learning environment, is the chance to flex your leadership muscles. You’ll learn about strategy, finance and governance and will explore your capacity for diplomacy and interpersonal skills. You’ll also get to consider qualities such as integrity, honesty, ethics and objectivity which must be scrupulously exercised at board level.

The course is intensive and fast paced. It’s split into three residential phases, each three days long. Between meetings, you’ll shadow a company board, having a chance to reflect on your learning as the programme progresses.

We’ll also put you through psychometric testing, helping you develop a better understanding of your personal drivers and emotional triggers. Our tutors – all experienced industry professionals -  will support you in identifying knowledge gaps and areas for personal development.

As with all CIOB Academy courses, this programme has been developed in close collaboration with industry and is focused on developing practical skills. But we also want to give you insight and inspiration: in addition to a packed schedule of activities during the day, you’ll also get to meet inspirational speakers who will come in each evening to talk on a range of topics.

We like to keep things as real as possible at the Academy. So in the final session, you’ll find yourself going through your very own white knuckle experience: a mock interview for a non-executive directorship. You’ll present to a panel of three senior industry professionals. It’s the chance to practise what you have learnt with the bonus of constructive feedback.

CIOB Academy will be running several Preparation for Boards courses each year, but please bear in mind that numbers are limited. This is because we want to make sure that everyone gets the right level of care and attention.

We’re really excited about this course. We’re hoping it will release a logjam of talent, accelerating career prospects and helping more people reach their potential faster with more confidence. Our aim is to create a stronger and more diverse construction leadership that better reflects the society in which we operate. Anyone with the right level of experience is welcome to apply. 

You can find out more about Preparation for Board Appointments here. And don’t forget to check out the Academy’s growing list of technical, managerial and leadership training packages as well. 

Hope to see you soon!