Martin Rowinski is the CEO of boardsiaa board recruiting firm, and an investor and author.
Most organizations have a board of directors to ensure governance, but an advisory board is optional and members have less accountability so it is easier for them to provide advice. These boards serve different purposes, but both can also propel a company to success. A well-composed board of experienced members can fill in all areas where your company needs expertise. When properly chosen, a board can encourage more growth.
Ask board members to take an active role in maximizing innovation.
Regardless of the field, innovation is king. But at the speed of today’s technology, boards can (and advisory boards must) step in to actively help a company. keep up with the times and stay on top of an industry. Members with experience in technology can help stay on top of new products and implement relevant add-ons where they can improve processes and enable the business to scale. In addition to technology, board members can implement innovative business models and strategies. Innovations big and small can contribute to a company’s advantage, so consider incorporating expertise in relevant areas such as shipping, logistics or automation into your board.
If your company doesn’t stay on top, another company will, especially in the world of startups. Most startups exist because they have taken a current business model and innovated on it, disrupting something that has been done in a specific way for years. Companies that are uncomfortable with change haven’t stayed in the market well enough to anticipate and capitalize on that trend first. A new company comes on the scene and blows it up because they’ve found a newer, cheaper, or faster way to get something done. Especially for startups, experienced board members can make maximum use of this innovation.
Look for board members with experience in strategic growth.
Bring in board members who’ve been there, done that. Strategic growth is one of the most important governance areas for boards. The more experience on a board, the more efficient you are at developing proven growth strategies† To figure out how much to grow each year, you have to learn a lot through trial and error, but a company that has the advice of an experienced board can get around that. Members with experience on certain paths can guide a company to anticipate and avoid known obstacles, helping to achieve goals faster.
For startups in particular, having access to board members who have experienced growth can be a critical guide to driving their success. When you first launch a new product, a lot of strategy must enter the process of rolling out that product to reach its maximum potential. Failure to address strategy gaps can result in a total flop, but with more minds coming up with strategies, those gaps are more likely to be addressed. Instead of testing things out with your company and hitting speed bumps along the way, drive around it with members who know an effective detour.
Lean on your board’s networks.
Your startup may have the best idea in the world, but if no one in your industry has ever heard of you, it can be difficult to get the funding you need to grow. A carefully crafted board will by extension bring their networks for a company to benefit from. Small businesses in particular can take advantage of board members with relevant connections in their network to call on additional support as they grow.
Forming a board relationship with a well-known name in an industry can bring more than access to capital. It can be an outlet for recruiting quality employees and an authority for key partnerships that accelerate the company’s growth. Well-known and well-known board members legitimize a company and establish its credibility, attract large investments and help recruit top talent who are excited to work with a big name in the industry.
Build a diverse and disciplined board.
Board members must bring discipline, especially operational discipline. For example, recruiting a board member with experience as a CFO could provide more financial insights. When you put together a diverse board with experience in different sectors and focus areas, you can fill the gaps in your company’s expertise and position it for greater growth and success.
CEOs and business leaders should use their boards of directors, especially their boards of advisors, as mentors and masterminds. Good governance provides you with a strong and experienced level of mentorship that you can fall back on when you need it. They are here to help you grow your business, so pick their brains for valuable insights and do it all the time.
A board of experienced members can be the difference between success and stagnation for your company. With a diverse set of board experience, you’ll have access to their advice and broad networks to help navigate your business through tough times and help you make challenging decisions. Having a board of experts to lean on for support will help you grow your business faster and more effectively.
gotechbusiness.com Business Council is the leading growth and networking organization for entrepreneurs and leaders. Am I eligible?