In this month’s Prosper, we talk to Calum Nisbet, Commercial Director at the Black Country Chamber of Commerce about a Director’s role and his plans to launch a series of programmes aimed at professional development for those in senior positions.

“Nobody teaches you to be a Director,” said Calum, “Just like parenting, you simply become one and all the books and advice simply will not prepare you for the task ahead.

“It’s fair to say that most Directors are professionally and emotionally unprepared for their first directorship,” continued Calum, a former Regional Director at the Institute of Directors, “Making the leap from Manager to a role which carries many duties and responsibilities that are imposed by corporate governance rules and legislation can be daunting. It is assumed that individuals understand the role, duties and legal responsibilities of a company director as well as activities and duties associated with leading a business.

“But recent accounting scandals in the UK (Tesco, Carillion, Conviviality and Patisserie Valerie to name but a few) have again put the spotlight on the role of external auditors, regulators, Banks and naturally Boards.”

Calum continued, “Ignorance about finance is no longer an excuse for Directors who are expected to understand the financial impact of business decisions and be sufficiently knowledgeable about finance to carry out their duties. Directors need to ask themselves if they are personally comfortable about their financial capabilities, or do they rely on the FD / CFO with blind faith?.

“And then, of course, there is Corporate Governance to understand - regardless of the size of your organisation, good corporate governance is essential - the reasons why a small business might fail are no different to those of a large one.”

No one could have anticipated how hard 2020 would be for business leaders and, whilst a number of businesses are doing well, a huge number are struggling.


The extension of the Furlough Scheme has been very welcome, but we all accept it is delaying some tough decision making that still has to be made.


“This is where good governance comes into its own,” said Calum, “It ensures that there is a good decision-making process in place, that policies and procedures exist to ensure accuracy, consistency and responsiveness to key stakeholders. It helps Directors to be agile and to make decisions with confidence, ensuring the future of the business.


“The months ahead are going to be tough and the Chamber recognises that robust leadership and good governance are key to the recovery of businesses across the Black Country. We are well placed to support business leaders and run regular confidential Peer to Peer learning sessions, allowing Directors to gain insights and perspectives from other senior leaders.


“In early 2021, we will launch a new suite of training programmes, focused on the professional development of Directors and their Boards. Our Tutors have all had professional business careers, gaining a wealth of knowledge that helps them empathise with the Directors they work with, ensuring their courses are highly practical, relevant and fresh, with numerous case studies to discuss.”

The Chamber’s Director Development Series will be delivered virtually and in half day sessions, please see initial dates below. Later dates for 2021 will be announced soon.


The courses can also be delivered as bespoke ‘in house’ programmes for businesses who have a number of individuals interested in development.


Attributes of a Great Director

Two half-days: 9am - 1pm on 15th & 22nd March

Member Price: £900 + vat

Non Member Price: £1,100 + vat

Assessing the Strategic Health of Your Business

Four half-days: 9am - 1pm on 19th, 23rd, 26th & 30th March

Member Price: £1,800 + vat

Non Member Price: £2,000 + vat

The Role of Finance in Business

Four half days: 9am – 1pm on 7th, 17th, 21st May and 3rd June

Member Price: £1,800 + vat

Non Member Price: £2,000 + vat

How to Get the Most Out of Your Board

One half day: 9am – 1pm on 14th June

Member Price: £450 + vat

Non Member Price: £750 + vat


  • Board Effectiveness

  • Diversity on Boards

  • Board Evaluation

  • Becoming a Non-Exec Director

  • Attributes of a Trustee

For more information, please contact:

Calum Nisbet on or Kristian Jones on 07976 901502

with Jean Pousson

21st JANUARY 2021

The free webinar will start at 4pm and last for one hour.

Join us for an informative webinar to learn more about the new suite of training and bespoke workshops, specifically designed for Directors and the Board.


These courses are all led by business professionals with a wealth of experience across a range of sectors who are able to bring the topics to life with practical examples and case studies from the real world.


This session will be led by our Senior Consultant for Director Training, Jean Pousson.


Following a career in the Banking sector, Jean established a specialised consultancy practice, supporting an international client base of business leaders on issues of governance, strategic planning and implementation, credit risk and finance.


His clients extend from listed companies to smaller privately owned firms as well as public sector and third sector organisations.

Introduction to Director and Board Webinar


Exploring new approaches, insights and taking part in an outstanding professional journey.

In order for the Black Country to remain competitive and thrive, great business leaders and dynamic managers are needed.

There are many who find themselves in management positions or elevated to roles that feel they have missed out on essential training which allows them to be effective and deliver success for themselves and their business.


For the last five years, the Black Country Chamber has worked with Lotus Flower Consultancy in order to help those individuals who want to challenge themselves to develop new insights, explore different approaches and share invaluable development experiences.

Over 200 individuals have taken their learning back to 140 businesses to help navigate challenges, embrace the opportunities and help their teams and businesses grow.

In recent months, these leaders and managers have stepped up to lead through the most turbulent of times, and whilst utilising the invaluable lessons learned, they have led from the front and will continue doing so during the uncertain months ahead. 

Starting in March, the Chamber, in collaboration with Lotus Flower Consultancy, will take its next cohort on board for the start of its Spring series of training, its Management Development Programme. 

Designed to stretch and challenge participants, programmes are run with participants from different backgrounds, experiences and industries creating a diverse environment where individuals can test and apply learning and developing together. 

Places are available for this cohort, so for more information and to discuss the Chamber’s easy payment options, please contact Kristian Jones on 07976 901502


20th JANUARY / 17th FEBRUARY 2021

Incoterms 2020

27th JANUARY 2021

Export: Letters of Credit

24th FEBRUARY 2021

Export Documentation Workshop

For further details, course content and to book your place please use this link: 


10th DECEMBER 2020

LinkedIn Lead Generation

17th FEBRUARY 2021

Facebook Advertising

For further details, course content and to book your place please use this link: 

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