La recherche de mandats sur des C.A. | Au-delà des contacts !

Plusieurs personnes très qualifiées en gouvernance de sociétés souhaitent trouver une place sur un ou plusieurs conseils d’administration de sociétés cotées. Mais comment s’y prendre ? L’article ci-dessous rédigé par *Boris Groysberg et Deborah Bell et paru dans HBR Blog Network saura sûrement piquer votre curiosité !

Les auteurs proposent une méthode plus acceptable de choisir les membres de conseils que celle de s’en remettre aux administrateurs potentiels reconnus par les membres de C.A. Bien sûr, l’appartenance à des réseaux d’administrateurs et l’approche progressive de l’acceptation des mandats, en commençant par les OBNL, sont des méthodes très pratiquées … mais souvent elles tardent à produire les résultats escomptés.

Les auteurs présentent une autre option laquelle dépend de la mise en place d’un processus de sélection systématique consistant à repérer les personnes possédant les expertises répondant aux besoins de l’entreprise. De plus en plus, la stratégie de recherche de mandats sera de faire connaître son expertise et son expérience auprès des membres des comités de gouvernance et de nomination.

L’article montre que les capacités les plus prisées par les comités de nomination sont (1) la connaissance de l’industrie, (2) les compétences stratégiques et (3) les expertises en finance-audit.

Je vous invite à lire l’article au complet afin de mieux vous préparer à trouver votre place sur des conseils. Vos commentaires sont toujours très appréciés. Bonne lecture !

Joining Boards: It’s Not Just Who You Know That Matters 

For many, a corporate directorship is a career capstone. But attaining one is far from easy. No one can say for sure how to get on a corporate board, but many people point to two routes: the first is to break into the « right » network and the second is to seek a progression of board seats that begins with, for example, a seat on a not-for-profit or community board and eventually results in appointment to a corporate board.

Both paths are problematic — neither is particularly transparent or relies on objective measures and given that many boards are stubborn bastions of white masculinity, pursuing the « right » network can be fraught, especially for women and other diverse candidates. Indeed, our research reinforces that concern: many boards still rely on their own (mostly white, mostly male) networks to fill seats.

There’s a different way — one that is more measurable, controllable and offers greater transparency. It starts with a focus on skills. Although many boards continue to select new members from their own networks, our research suggests that more are beginning to implement objective processes to select members based on the skills and attributes that boards need to be effective. Our 2012 survey, in partnership with WomenCorporateDirectors and Heidrick & Struggles, of more than 1,000 corporate directors across the globe, found that only 48% of the boards had a formal process of determining the combination of skills and attributes required for their board and, therefore, for new directors

We know this approach can work because we’ve seen it: We studied a large corporation that was being split into two public companies for which two new boards had to be created. The chairman wanted to create two balanced boards, with the mix of skills, knowledge, and experience each company needed. He appointed a special team to create an objective, transparent method for selecting the directors. After reviewing the roles and responsibilities of each board and the natures of the new businesses, the team derived lists of the skills each board needed. Then it created a model containing the dimensions critical to a high-performing board, from functional and industry expertise to behavioral attributes. This approach led both companies to recruit board members that were diverse in needed strategic skills. Both boards are on to a good start — demonstrating that when a firm builds a board using a rigorous assessment of the qualities it needs to carry out its governance task, rather than personal networks, the board is better equipped to execute its functions.

In our survey, we also asked about specific skills. We wanted to know which were the strongest skills represented on boards and which were missing. Directors named industry knowledge, strategy, and financial-audit expertise as their strongest skill sets.

Skill Sets Overall

And 43% cited technology expertise, HR-talent management, international-global expertise, and succession planning as the skills missing most on their boards.


* Boris Groysberg is a professor of business administration at Harvard Business School. His  work examines how a firm can be systematic in achieving a sustainable competitive advantage by leveraging its talent at all levels of the organization.

* Deborah Bell is a researcher of organizational behavior whose work focuses on leadership, drivers of success, and organizational effectiveness and dynamics, especially at the board level.

Getting a Seat at the Table (

Corporate Director Selection and Recruitment: A Matrix (

Strategy For Securing a Seat on a Corporate Board (

Why your business needs an advisory board (