IOD Directors Course Good Value

Review of Companies Directors Course – IOD
Becoming an Informed Board Member – a $6500 Investment

For the week of Nov  7 – Nov 12, I subjected myself to  the IOD Companies directors course.  Everyone, including my sponsors, The EDANZ- Deloitte Partnership (Escalator), wants to know was it worthwhile?

The real test of this will only be proven by my performance: both as a CEO –GM and as a value add board member.

It’s a big commitment by any one in a senior role to attend a week-long residential course and clear enough mind space to maximize your attendance.

So my highlights of the week:

  • The fellow attendee’s – I was privileged to attend with a great bunch of peers from a variety of backgrounds and experiences. Everything from VC’s, Fontera sponsored farmers, SFO, SOE CEO’s to tourism operators.
  • When you need to nominate board members, its ideal to have worked with them  before . This week created a great opportunity to experience people in action. A large percentage of the co-attendee’s I will recommend into future fellow board seats.
  • The debate a rigor my fellow attendee’s gave the presenters – challenging the bounds of traditional governance and relevance for new world post GFC and potential directors in “the gallows”
  • Case study work – “yes I am usually not a fan of this learning style”, but working on our fictitious “pacific pies ltd” and other companies, with no perfect answers, created great debate and enabled the various knowledge from fellow attendees to be shared.
  • Most of all it reinvigorated my belief in what high performing problem solving team can achieve with complementary skills.

So what about the content and delivery?

  • It would be easy to be overly critical – some of it could do with a major refresh and more creative flair – but it achieved the desired end result. (ok -the power point sucked – happy to help IOD here if they want)
  • The caliber and relevant experience of the majority of presenters was bang on – we all loved being given a “rally up” by an experienced chair and the frank and honest answers to probing questions by the pragmatists.

Would I recommend it?

  • Hell yes, I have come away more confident on my fudiciary responsibilities, a greater respect for risk and confident in adding more value to my clients as a result of it and more capable of maximizing the value from boards I report to.

Tips for potential attendees:

  • Verify with IOD what sort of background other attendees have. It sounds like not all courses have senior experienced commercial practitioners attending.  Auckland has a reputation for gathering a better crowd than some other locations.
  • Get involved and ask presenters challenging questions – it was the question and answer time that generated the most learning.


There is no doubt that IOD hold the body of knowledge as far their heritage and credibility. My hope for 2011 is that they can find ways to work with the growing Springboard Network to lead a charge in establishing benchmarks for effective boards for emerging SME’s as well as serving the big end of town.

Thanks to the EDANZ-Deloitte team for sponsoring my attendance. I plan on merging the learning from this informative week with my previous knowledge and experience to continue my personal quest to  help the emerging business talent of NZ succeed.

Other blog posts by Mark on Governance – Advisory Groups etc for SME’s

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