What’s the board of the future like?

With the world of business changing so rapidly, boards need greater agility and members from a wider diversity of backgrounds, writes Annet Aris, Insead Adjunct Professor of Strategy. Therefore there would be a need for less, or more unconventionally experienced executives.


Apart from members with general management background, organisations should look for directors with specialised professional backgrounds, such as IT. Special assets to look for in the future will be an innovative mindset as well as the ability to understand and assist in transforming the digital capabilities of the business.

Aris recommends that companies map out their present position and where they aim to be in the short and medium-term future. “They should then create a profile for the prospective candidate, identifying the skills and experiences needed to complement the Board’s existing talent, and those required to address the foreseeable opportunities and challenges that lie ahead,” writes the Insead professor.

This new approach of forming a board would also be a way of creating more opportunities for women according to Aris, who herself was recently ranked 9th most influential woman in the corporate world in The Netherlands by Management Scope (Netherlands).