Exercising independent judgement and decision-making is an essential quality of a director. It is based on the knowledge of the subject, the experience in forming an opinion, and the personal qualities of the decision maker.
“Judgement is the ability to combine personal qualities with relevant knowledge and experience to form opinions and make decisions” (Noel Tichy and Warren Bennis). Judgement is what enables a sound choice in the absence of clear-cut, relevant data or an obvious path. “Independence is not being conditioned on outside interests and avoiding excessive dependence on the knowledge of others” (UK corporate governance code).
The Chartered Governance Institute (CGI) has issued “The 12 elements of independent judgement” earlier this month. It is a useful reminder of what an independent judgement is.