While the Non-Executive Directors are very much visible in the boardroom, on the other side of the spectrum is “the invisible Board member” – the Board or Company secretary.
While the Non-Executive Directors are very much visible in the boardroom, on the other side of the spectrum is “the invisible Board member” – the Board or Company secretary. You would think that the person who compiles the minutes, prepares the agenda, liaises with the Chair, CEO and each individual Director, puts together the Board Pack and arranges the Board meeting logistics, while at the same time managing the legalities of the Board’s work, would be considered an integral part of the Board decision-making process, but this is not the case.
The Secretary’s role is pivotal, yet unobtrusive; highly strategic, but undervalued; of great importance, but largely invisible. If you want to know what’s going on both in the Board meeting and behind the scenes, then the person to speak to is the Board secretary. Their knowledge, influence and strategic intervention can assist new Non-Executive Directors to make sense of a tricky situation and help to defuse and manage the tensions in the Boardroom.
Those appointed to this important position often need to maintain a fine balancing act, since they are a company employee (usually reporting to the CEO), while also working directly for the Board Chair and the other Directors.