Lisa Tennant

1. Details of Board Appointment
Lisa’s current appointments include roles on the board of the newly-formed Scottish Police Authority; NHS Ayrshire & Arran; The Ethical Property Company and the Scottish Solicitors Discipline Tribunal.

2. What attracted you to the roles?
I was attracted to the roles for different reasons. I had a background in both social enterprise and real estate and this was a perfect combination for the Ethical Property Company. Having previously used the Melting Pot (a social enterprise incubator in Edinburgh) I was familiar with the company too (Ethical Property owns the building which houses the Melting Pot).

I was attracted to my Scottish Police Authority role as it was very exciting to be involved in the largest single piece of public sector reform in decades. The merger of eight regional forces into a national force was a huge challenge and it’s a privilege to be overseeing a budget of over £1.1bn and over 25,000 staff. The chance to deliver both savings and reform, whilst increasing performance was a great combination.

I was keen to join the Solicitors Discipline Tribunal as this is completely different from my other board work. A tribunal setting allows you to get to grips with each individual case and make complex judgements in consultation with colleagues – a great skill to learn.

3. What strengths (personal/professional) did you highlight in the interview process?
Asking hard questions (but with empathy)
Strategy, governance, finance and pragmatic approach.
I feel that I did particularly well in interviews because I am a young woman and that contrary to the experience of many women looking for board positions, this was a draw to the interview panels. I made sure to highlight this as a strength from the point of view of it bringing diversity to Boards

4. What were the benefits of approaching the role with the help of a Voluntary Mutual Support Group (CtC)
CtC was invaluable in helping me to secure three of my four NED roles. I was given advice on technical details such as interview procedure and terms and conditions and also on the personal side – workshops on various subjects have been fantastic in helping me hone my vision. Networking with others in a similar position is incredibly helpful – not only to be inspired by them but also for a advice for any tricky board situations. In addition, having to post a CV and NED profile online and keep track of how many roles I had applied for kept me focused.

5. What do you hope to achieve in the role
In all my roles, I strive to achieve clarity for the organisation in it’s decision making. To my mind, this centres around asking the right questions – not as easy as it sounds! I also hope to act as a role model to other women who would like to secure a board position.

From September Lisa will be studying at Babson College, Boston for four months as a result of being awarded a Fulbright Scholarship. As an ambassador of the women’s business community in Scotland, Lisa will be studying at Babson’s Center for Women’s Entrepreneurial Leadership and working with a high growth US company to learn tech start up skills to bring back to Scotland.