All businesses no matter how small should have a functioning “Board of Directors”. This action is important to any firm that wants a competitive advantage, yet, it’s one of the least implemented tools.
A board of directors is a sounding board for key strategies. An in-depth discussion with a Board of Directors will either solidify an action, or it may show the owner the risks involved and it may not be implemented.
A board of directors brings a wide variety of skills and experiences to the table. The key to the meetings is the honest and open discussion among the members and the listening and learning on the part of the owner.
Let’s start on the board building process:
- Completing the board members selection process is not an overnight action. Each member has to be selected on his/her own merit and the compatibility among the members is important.
- The people that make up a good board need to have a reason to participate. They have to see a potential in the firm, its products or services.
- Each selected member should be recognized as an expert in their field. If possible, they should be a name that is well respected in their industry and community. A few board members with these credentials will give the company instant credibility.
- It should be put together with the help of your coach or business consultant. This plan should encompass a three to five year summary of the company’s business plan.
- Defining the expectations of the future board members is the next step. That includes meeting frequency and length, board structure and length of service (1 to 3 year terms, etc).
- Discuss with your coach other possible benefits for board members.
- The next step is to step outside your box and compile an “ideal list” of potential board members, people that meet the criteria mentioned above. You don’t have to personally know your ideal candidates.
- Prioritize your candidates both by profession and stature in their industry and community.
- The final step is to make appointments and presentations to your selected list until you receive a commitment from 5 potential members.
- Plan a first “get acquainted” Board meeting and include a package for each member.
This process may take up to three months, but it is one of the most worthwhile undertakings any business can accomplish.
To succeed in life in today’s world, you must have the will and tenacity to finish the job. Chin-Ning Chu
Nick J. Petra CFP At Strategic Duck our mission is to help you grow your business.
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