Are Board Opportunities Increasing? - Mark A. Pfister

Insights from Leaders
5 min readJun 22, 2023
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Leveraging the Current Appointment Wave

As the global business landscape continues to evolve rapidly, so follows the realm of corporate governance. Artificial intelligence (AI), machine learning (ML), a myriad of social causes, and coordinated boycotts are sweeping across industries, and this is creating an environment ripe with possibilities. Equally impactful is the accelerating wave of Baby Boomer retirements, or simply time commitment ramp downs, opening large swaths of opportunity across all levels within organizations, including the boardroom. For both aspiring and experienced Board Directors, the present period offers an exceptional opportunity for appointment opportunities. Are you prepared to seize these abundant Board Director prospects?

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The significance of Board Director appointments cannot be overstated. Boards play a crucial role in shaping the direction as well as the success of organizations through diverse expertise, strategic insight, and fiduciary responsibility to ensure effective decision-making. By highlighting the amplified opportunities available today, we aim to empower aspiring and experienced Board Directors to harness this momentum and contribute to the growth and resilience of companies worldwide.

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In recent years, the landscape of Board Director appointments has witnessed a notable shift, presenting a larger percentage of opportunities to individuals seeking to join their first Board or add to their portfolio of existing Boards. This transformation can be attributed to various factors, such as increased retirements, age limits, mandatory retirements, and term limits, catalyzing a favorable environment for a larger number of open Board positions.

Increased Retirements
Retirement waves among senior Board Directors have surged in recent years, as expected, creating vacancies that need to be filled. As experienced leaders gracefully step down, organizations seek fresh talent and perspectives to infuse dynamism into their Boards. This generational shift opens up substantial avenues for aspiring Board Directors to step into influential roles and opportunities for experienced Directors to add additional Board appointments to their portfolio.

Age Limits and Mandatory Retirements
Many organizations have recognized the need for boardroom rejuvenation and implemented age limits and mandatory retirement policies. These measures aim to ensure a healthy balance between experience and fresh perspectives, in many cases brought to the table by younger Directors, in some cases much younger. As Board Directors approach age limits, opportunities emerge for individuals who can bring new ideas, technological acumen, and contemporary approaches to the table. (For a contrarian viewpoint to this statement, I have been involved with quite a few Board clients in recent years who have been steadily increasing their mandatory retirement age to serve on their Boards due to what they believe is a challenging market to find qualified Directors. This reinforces the need to stand out and package yourself correctly as a viable Board Director candidate.)

Term Limits
Term limits, a practice gaining momentum globally, has the effect of introducing a regular influx of new Board Directors. Organizations understand the benefits of boardroom diversity, fresh skill sets, and broader networks. Consequently, they are increasingly embracing term limits to encourage regular turnover and avoid stagnation. This steady rotation translates into more opportunities for Board Director candidates aspiring to embark or continue on their Board Director journey.

The ever-evolving landscape of governance necessitates Boards to adapt to new challenges and opportunities swiftly. Organizations seek Directors who possess the right blend of skills, expertise, and forward-thinking mindsets. This demand for specialized knowledge and experience presents Board Directors with a chance to position themselves as valuable assets, particularly in high-demand areas such as cybersecurity, sustainability, ESG, risk, human capital, and digital transformation.

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Looking ahead in our near-term future outlook, the trend of increasing Board Director appointment opportunities is expected to continue. With the ongoing pace of technological advancements, geopolitical shifts, and ever-increasing stakeholder expectations, Boards will need to ensure they have the right mix of skills and expertise to navigate complexities. This presents an optimistic outlook for viable Board Directors, as organizations will actively seek individuals who can contribute to strategic decision-making and guide companies through a rapidly changing world.

The current period indeed offers a fertile ground for Board Director appointment opportunities. As organizations continually embrace governance practices that foster diversity, fresh perspectives, and agile decision-making, Board Candidates have a unique chance to make their mark.

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Are you ready to embrace the wave of Board Director opportunities? As either an aspiring or experienced Director, now is the time to equip yourself with the modern skills, network, and knowledge to stand out in the Board candidate pool. Enhance your governance expertise, develop your strategic thinking, and broaden your professional network to position yourself as an invaluable asset to organizations seeking exceptional Board Directors. Seize this moment to start or continue on an exciting journey of leadership, influence, and impact. Remember, the boardroom awaits, and the opportunities are currently abundant.

Are you prepared to leverage the current appointment wave?

Reach out to learn more through our Board Director Education & Certification program, plus Consulting & Advisory offerings, and International Speaking Tour topics.

Mark A. Pfister

Non-Executive Director | CEO | Chief Board Consultant | Corporate Strategist |
Board Macro-Influencer | Speaker | Author

www.PfisterStrategy.com

Mark A. Pfister
Mark A. Pfister

About the Author: With a strong focus in Strategy, Governance, and Technology / Cybersecurity, Mark A. Pfister is CEO & Chief Board Consultant of M. A. Pfister Strategy Group, an executive advisory firm that serves as a strategic advisory council for executives and Boards in the public, private, nonprofit, and private equity (PE) sectors. He is also Chairman & CEO of Integral Board Group, a specialized Board services & consulting company, as well as Founder & CEO of the International Board Director Competency Designation (IBDC.D) education and certification program, a Board Director certification course recognized globally. Mr. Pfister is a ‘Board Macro-Influencer’ and his success has been repeated across a wide range of business situations and environments. He prides himself on being a coach and mentor to senior executives and Directors. In Board Director circles, Mr. Pfister has earned the nickname ‘The Board Architect’…………..<< read full bio here >>

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