A friend shared this Board Search Criteria used by Constellation Software and highlighted in their 2017 President’s Letter. I thought these dimensions were interesting and a good model. Recreated the primary points of the table below.


  • Thought Partner: Thought partner for senior leadership.
  • Long-term Orientation: Unfazed by short term pressure. Focused on CSI’s long-term issues.
  • Timeframe: Able to serve on the board for 20+ years.
  • Investment in CSI: Willing to make a significant equity investment in CSI, above and beyond board comp.


  • High Quality Business: Understands what constitutes a high quality business.
  • Autonomy: Appreciates the motivational power of autonomy, decentralisation.
  • Cultural Fit: Respects and gets along with the current senior CSI management as well as the board.
  • Ownership: Believes in the motivational power of equity ownership.
  • High Impact / Low Ego: Will intervene when necessary, contribute meaningfully, but not dominate discourse.
  • Out of Kitchen: Can resist the urge to get into the kitchen when there’s a chef already in there.


  • Builder: Helped build or maintain (as a director, manager or major shareholder) a large organisation (>1000 employees) over an extended period, while providing a superior return to owners (ideally including employee owners).
  • Decentralized: Experience with a decentralised company (nice, not necessary).
  • Capital Allocation: Experience in a capital allocation role (nice, not necessary).