David, why did you want to enrol on the Board Directors’ Programme, and why did you choose Henley?
‘I’ve had several decades of experience in IT, but felt that I wanted to understand the NED (Non-Executive Director) role better in order for me to add value. I needed to understand the do’s and don’ts as well as the guiding principles. But more fundamentally, I wanted to discover whether this was a route I wanted to take.
‘The choice of Henley was based on its reputation, and the fact that Henley had put together a remote offer so quickly; the material was clear and professional, and that ticked every box for me.’
So what were your expectations of the programme, and did it meet them?
‘It was always going to take a little while to adapt to an online training platform, but I very quickly realised that this was something special. The quality of the speakers was simply stunning, and the interaction, the insights, the stories and examples were all so real. It was such a rich, compelling experience, and I connected with it completely.
There were no long dry PowerPoint presentations, and you couldn’t help but be impressed by the variety of people and perspectives who very directly answered those two fundamental questions: ‘do you want to be a NED?’ and ‘do you have the appetite and capability?’.
‘I also particularly liked the way the stretched format – with a 90-minute session each week – gave us time to absorb and reflect upon what we heard.’
What impact did the programme have on you: personally and professionally?
‘Personally, it gave me real confidence; I now know what good – and great – looks like, and I have the intellectual framework around which the right decisions can be taken.
‘Being a NED is potentially so enriching. To leverage your skills, experience, knowledge and stories, and be able to apply them appropriately gives you an incredible sense of purpose. You feel as if you can exert a really positive influence on the people around you.
‘Of course it was different having to network through a video session, but somehow Henley did a fantastic job in making it so interactive in a way that almost enhanced it. And the international array of people in the group reminded me that we’re part of a much wider community.
‘Yes, I have a badge now, but it’s really not about that. My mind has been opened, and whilst it’s still early days for me, I have absolutely no doubt that the company will gain from the knowledge and experience I’ve acquired.’
And finally, what advice would you offer to anyone considering the Henley Board Directors’ Programme?
‘Go on it!
‘Be clear about what you want from it, but it will answer all your questions, and so much more.
‘And the icing on the cake was the follow-up session, which I found immensely helpful.
‘In every respect, this is a profound experience.’