This September marks Chartered Directorship month and the IoD Guernsey Branch marks this occasion with a Q&A between Karen Power, IoD Committee Member and Katy Hodgetts, an Independent Non-Executive Director.
In this insightful conversation, Katy, who completed the IoD Certificate and Diploma in Company Direction in 2018 and became a Chartered Director earlier this year, sheds light on her journey, the significance of Continuous Professional Development, and the evolving landscape of being a Guernsey based Director.
Q: What differences did you find between undertaking the IoD Certificate and Diploma in Company Direction, and obtaining the Chartered Director status?
A: I found the Certificate was a fantastic place to get started. It taught the basics and set a solid core of best practice and good governance. Documenting board meetings, ensuring minutes are correctly written and submitted and then signed, and not to forget the legalities and ethics, which are all essential and sometimes forgotten parts of directorship. Overall, I feel it gave me a strong foundation to becoming a director.
The Diploma then cemented the learning into real life scenarios, ensuring that the theory was understood and could be put into practice through simulation in a controlled environment.
Becoming Chartered was a very different challenge. There is no additional study requirement. There are various criteria that are required to have been met prior to applying, for example you have to have held a Directors role for at least 3 years, so for some, there is a delay in between completing the Diploma and submitting the Chartered application. The chartership application requires a Professional Review Interview which picks apart the application submission and requires justification of putting the skills learnt into practice, verifying experience, and highlighting real-life personal examples of strategy implementation.
I feel that the whole experience has been an incredibly helpful journey and I would recommend it to anybody pursuing a Director role.
Q: How did your qualifications shape your career trajectory over the past three years?
A: My journey into an Executive Director role allowed me to implement the key learnings from my Certificate and Diploma. During my time in the Executive Director role, I revamped the business culture, replaced strategies, implemented governance, and navigated acquisitions. It was a significant learning curve, with lots of change, but the theory learnt during the courses placed me well for utilising it in practice. At the same time, I expanded my directorial portfolio, working on a variety of boards and sharpening the skills gained during my qualifications. At the end of 2021, I transitioned to a full-time independent non-exec Director role.
Q: With the evolving demands on directors and the rise of technology, what do you see as the future for directors?
A: The role of a director is undergoing a paradigm shift with increasing responsibilities. While technology like AI offers tools to aid decision-making, nothing can truly replace human intuition and experience.
Directors' roles will always need that diversity of thought and the ability to challenge the status quo. It's crucial for boards to embrace open and honest communication. As for technology, while innovations such as decision-making tools intrigue me, I feel we must proceed with caution, ensuring privacy and ethics are at the forefront of our minds at all times.
Q: What benefits do you see in being an IoD member?
A: Being an IoD member offers invaluable opportunities in continuous professional development. With frequent changes in regulation, it's crucial for directors to remain updated. The IoD provides courses, seminars, and resources that I find helpful in my quest for continuous professional growth. I am lucky enough to have a vast network in the Guernsey industry, and I see a growing importance of the IoD's networking events in nurturing the next generation of directors.
Q: What is next for you?
A: I want to continue to provide a strong governance framework as well as challenging my clients/ boards to ensure we achieve best practise. My focus remains on raising the bar for, and promoting Guernsey, whilst supporting the development of the next generation.
If you’re interested in becoming chartered or professional development opportunities with the IoD, you can find more information here.