Rear Admiral Louis Armstrong CBE
CHIEF EXECUTIVE OF THE ROYAL INSTITUTION OF CHARTERED SURVEYORS, 1998–2010
Jonathan Harris left office as the President of the RICS after an unusually stimulating 40 years of non-executive roles with the Institution.
From my personal experience I cannot recommend him too highly as a non-executive director, because the qualities that he would bring to the Board would be very different to those you are likely to find in other applicants you are considering.
What you get is a never-ending stream of stimuli, bright ideas, lateral thinking; leaving no stone unturned in the quest for development, expansion, progress, new ideas; and consistently challenging negative thinking and conventional wisdom. This remarkable tour de force is conducted with immense good humour and charm.
His perspectives from running his own very successful professional partnership, Board membership of a public company, Governorships and Trusteeships of a number of bodies, particularly those in the Further and Higher Education fields, and with a very shrewd financial and commercial brain, mean that he has a remarkable range of experience to complement his natural vitality, restless energy, and consistently lively approach to issues and problem solving.
With him on board, Board meetings would never be dull; there would be originality and flair at every turn; and he would galvanise thinking out of more conventional tramlines into the unexpected. He sets new standards for the art of the possible in driving an organisation or business forward.
I firmly believe that as an energiser and lateral thinker he would contribute enormously to realising the great potential of your company in many spheres.