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When Can A “Board” Help…

Friday, 26 June 2009

Essentially business strategies and processes are ever-evolving,
constantly changing.  We really learn the art of “business” from
other business people, not from Accountants or Lawyers both of who
have specialised trades, and definitely not at a School.  Add into
this the fact that several “brains” sharing in an open honest –
unbiased way is also a very powerful tool and you start to
understand the power of a “Board”.

Boards can (initially) be one person (really a mentor) who helps
you with ideas and guidance.  They should grow with the business
into several people, often with complementary skills/experience.
Independence is a key factor.

They help “connect”, help guide (strategise), assist keep the
driver on track, and in times of troubles often step up and help
sort problems.

Advisory Boards are engaged in a more casual manner than formal
Boards.  Advisory Boards can meet independently (I’ve never liked
this model) or as a group – better ideas come from the dynamics of
a group.  Pay and their time commitments are balanced.  You get
what you pay for.  An ability to understand each other is a must
and I believe “experience in areas that help drive your business”
is essential.

Formal Boards have simular attributes, however they use appointed
(legally) Directors of the Company.  This adds the complexity of
governance.  Typically they steer the Company more strategically
and appoint the CEO, who they help keep “on track”.  I have a
formal board of “outside” (called non-executive) Directors.  I’ve
done this for a number of reasons including the ability for
MiniMovers to go on forever.

BOTH should have a “group” of reports (called Board Papers) that
the members get to consider before the meeting.

A common failure is lack of understanding of the “real aspects” of
the business, the critical drivers, influences, and issues.  The no
bull, no spin, all “dressing” removed – business.  There needs to
be a very detailed brief at the start of the relationship and very
open honesty.

Get it right and your business will fly.

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