Recycle your Skills and Experience to Help OthersIf you have been very senior in the business world, have great skills and experience and want to ‘recycle’ them to help other businesses then read on. NXD is an exclusive membership organisation that wants to bring the benefits of non-execs to the SME world in a big way. We want to change the way small businesses view non-execs and get them to realise that the right non-exec is not an expensive luxury purely for businesses that legally have to have them, but can be a massive value-adding element to any small business.
We look for three main attributes in our members: (If you don’t qualify as a member, please check out our page on Associates which we have introduced for people who haven’t had the experience of leading a business)
Firstly we look for people that have been very senior in the business world, that normally means you will have held the role of CEO or MD of a significant business entity at least once during your career. The actual title of CEO or MD is not the key, however, it is that you have had first-hand experience of running a business entity and particularly in a very large company, roles such as Divisional Director or Business Unit Director can be the equivalent. If you have been very senior in business but you’re not sure whether you are eligible to join, it’s best to contact us and we can talk it through (very occasionally we take on someone just because they are very good at what they do).
Thirdly we look for people with good standards and values. People whose word means something, people who don’t renege on commitments, who treat others with respect and courtesy and are generally decent, honorable and trustworthy in the way they go about their life, especially their business life. We only have one appendix to our membership agreement and that is a values statement which all our members sign up to. This statement is not paying lip service to values and standards, we do expect members to abide by it and indeed it is the one thing we end up removing members for if they don’t – we have only had to do it twice since we launched, but we did do it.
Regarding the type of experience – the sector, the function, geographical experience etc – we are completely agnostic. Indeed the more variety the better, we have always had the objective of being able to help any SME in any sector and any circumstance anywhere in the UK and Ireland. The breadth of experience is also not a barrier to joining – some of our members have spent their entire career in a very niche sector and others have experience over a large number of sectors and functions and there are pros and cons attached to both. The narrow sector experience means there are fewer roles likely to be relevant to you, but when one does arise you are likely to be a compelling case, the broad sector experience the reverse i.e. more roles but less compelling a case.
Finally, a brief word about the general motivation of our members to build portfolio careers – many of them will talk about wanting to give something back to the business world. Our members have all been very successful; they have either finished their full-time career or are planning for what they do when that time comes; they may or may not need to earn money, either way, they are too young, too active and will live too long just to do nothing for the rest of their lives – and they have this great wealth of skill and experience that can be recycled to good use by helping today’s business leaders. That’s what NXD is about.
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