New book shows how to improve directorial competence and board effectiveness

From: Policy Publications Ltd
Published: Tue Jun 19 2007

Improving directorial competence and board effectiveness is the key to boosting the performance of many organisations. Often the most cost effective way of building a business and ensuring continuing relevance and corporate success is to develop the board. A new book ‘Developing Directors, A handbook for building an effective boardroom team’ by Colin Coulson-Thomas shows how.

Coulson-Thomas, chairman of director development specialists, Adaptation believes: "Director and board development represents an arena of opportunity. Direction is a separate but complementary activity to management and establishes the framework of aspirations, goals, values and policies within which the people of an organisation operate. Yet while large investments are made in management training, director and board development is largely overlooked in many companies and public bodies."

Coulson-Thomas feels "We need to tackle some myths - direction is not just for the few. Good governance benefits us all. There could well be over a million directors in the UK alone. All sorts of people could benefit themselves and the customers and clients their organisations serve by learning how to become a better director. Far too few people understand the distinction between direction and management or how to develop directors and boards - the problem the new book addresses is a global one."

According to Prof. Coulson-Thomas "Many people possess directorial qualities but are not aware of this. Developing Directors is designed as a self-help book for those who want to assess their directorial potential and develop their directorial careers."

Over 4,000 organisations from smaller firms to major corporations and Government bodies have participated in a research programme led by Prof. Coulson-Thomas which has identified critical success factors and successful approaches to the challenges faced by directors and boards. ‘Developing Directors’ explains how reservoirs of latent potential can be tapped by director and board development.

According to Dr Madhav Mehra, President of the World Council for Corporate Governance: "Colin Coulson-Thomas' timely book "Developing Directors" provides the most authoritative and comprehensive guidance for director and boardroom development. It is particularly useful for chairmen, presidents, directors and all those who counsel, coach and support them in both the public and private sectors as well as voluntary organisations."

‘Developing Directors’ addresses a desire for better board and corporate performance as well as contemporary concerns over corporate governance standards. The new book identifies the knowledge, skills and personal qualities required by directors and defines the competent director and the effective board. It looks at the route to the boardroom and how to become a director, how directors are and should be prepared, and provides details of twenty four director and board development courses.

Developing the boardroom team, evaluating board performance and practical next steps are also considered. ‘Developing Directors’ is packed with exercises and checklists which have been specifically designed for boardroom participation. For those concerned with understanding and addressing the fundamentals the book also examines the development challenge, the roles of directors and boards, the distinction between direction and management and factors affecting team work in the boardroom.

Ian Davies, Chairman of The Independent Director believes: "‘Developing Directors’ with its guidance, exercises and checklists provides company chairmen, board directors and people who consult and train at board level with essential advice and practical tools for enhancing directorial contribution. Independent directors will find it a useful introduction to the world of company direction and a valuable guide to what they and colleagues can do to add more value."

Developing Directors is essential reading for chairmen and directors, consultants and trainers charged with the task of developing dynamic boardroom teams to lead the organizations of today. It draws upon the author’s extensive experience of working with directors and boards, and provides practical advice on identifying and developing the qualities, competencies, and approaches needed for greater directorial contribution, board effectiveness and corporate success.

‘Developing Directors, A handbook for building an effective boardroom team ’ (367 pages, plus prelims; ISBN 978-1-872980-32-4) is available price £34.95 plus p&p from: and can be ordered from all good bookshops and Policy Publications, Mill Reach, Mill Lane, Water Newton, Cambridgeshire, PE8 6LY, UK

Twenty five new courses for directors and boards on particular activities that are vital for corporate success are also available. For further information contact Prof. Colin Coulson-Thomas by Tel: 00 44 (0) 1733 361 149 or email: and via

The approaches of successful directors and boards are discussed in ‘Winning Companies; Winning People, the differing approaches of winners and losers’ by Colin Coulson-Thomas (ISBN 1-904235-58-1) which costs Price £19.95 plus p&p and is available from:

Information about other books and reports by Prof. Coulson-Thomas can be found on while details of the bespoke benchmarking and research reports covering critical success factors identified by his research can be obtained from

Prof. Colin Coulson-Thomas an experienced chairman of award winning companies has advised the boards of over 100 companies on how to improve board and/or corporate performance, and presented at over 200 national, international and corporate events in 35 countries. He is a member of the Professional Accreditation Committee and Board of Examiners of the UK Institute of Directors and the ACCA Corporate Governance and Risk Management Committee. He can be contacted by Tel: + 44 (0)1733 361149, Email: or via
Company: Policy Publications Ltd
Contact Name: Colin Coulson-Thomas
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Contact Phone: +44(0)1733361149

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