Financial Data
Updated 26 Feb 2020


Contributing in the boardroom

If you want to get the most from your board, you need to know how each person likes to make an individual contribution.


Carl Bates, Entrepreneur, 24 June 2016  Share  0 comments  Print


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The value of a board is based on how the parts contribute to the whole. We use a profiling tool we developed called the Sirdar Contribution Compass, which highlights the specific profile of a director or executive based on their natural energy, gleaned through a robust questionnaire.

There are eight profiles, each with a specific means through which value and contribution can be most effectively maximised. We know that if we balance the natural energies well for a newly constituted board of directors, the company will accelerate its growth due to the quality, flow and value of the discussions around the boardroom table.

Below is a brief summary of the Contribution Compass profiles. Reflect on which profile most closely mirrors your greatest path to contribution. What are the profiles on your executive committee or board? How might you enhance the value contributed by those members by understanding their natural energy?

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Catalyst — Accelerating change

Catalysts are dynamic, stimulating, driven and inciting. They excel at getting something going with energy, and often start new businesses, lead a new project or take an existing project into its next big step.

They easily plug into the world of ideas and a vision of the future.

Champion — Blazing a trail

Champions shake up the status quo and stir up people to pay attention to their message. Using their personal credibility, Champions shine light on the cause they rally for and incite others to join them.

They excel at taking a proven idea and broadcasting its value to a wide audience, garnering support and enthusiasm.

Coach — Igniting greatness

Coaches ignite the fire and passion of others to work together as a team, focused on bringing a central idea to life. Coaches bring warmth, energy and inspiration, which lights up the path for others.

They excel at understanding people deeply and being tuned to their emotions and what their team really needs in order to overcome challenges.

Connector — Building bridges

Connectors bring people, ideas and resources together. They can unite the right people at the right time and place, which is driven from an understanding of what people really need and the resources and opportunities available that may best serve those needs.

They excel in being able to talk through ideas, challenges and solutions to create a collective way forward.

Custodian — Honouring the promise

Custodians nurture and support the ideas of others and bring them to life, while guarding and protecting the assets and resources under their care. Their gentle and supportive energy is grounded in their understanding of reality, resources, timing and practical considerations.

They excel in their ability to honour commitments and deadlines, while ensuring that the right activity delivers tangible results.

Business -growth

Cultivator — Nurturing growth

Cultivators guide and shape the growth of a team, project or enterprise through a subtle influence that seeks to adjust, refine and develop. They make incremental adjustments in their environment to achieve long-term, sustainable growth.

They excel at managing complex projects and deliverables, while ensuring that resources and risk are carefully managed.

Related: Service businesses can be creative too

Conductor — Optimising performance

Conductors use their focused and efficient energy to direct the singular instruments of the orchestra into a unified and optimised collective.

They excel at ensuring a process or function runs optimally and efficiently. With a natural affinity for analysis and data, a Conductor finds meaningful insights through information and the analysis thereof.

Calibrator — Fine-tuning instruments

Calibrators ensure that the instruments used to create value are continuously refined and adjusted where necessary.

Calibrators excel when they can tinker with how the system works and experiment with new approaches to old problems.

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About the author


Carl Bates, Entrepreneur

Carl Bates is a global entrepreneur, speaker, author, mentor and director. Currently based in South Africa, he is a dynamic entrepreneur from New Zealand who guides small to medium businesses to achieve Extreme Business Success.

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