Who is on your company’s Board of Directors? Perhaps you are a solopreneur, a startup, or a small to mid-sized business. Essentially, you are family-owned and operated. It’s never too early to create a Board of Directors, even a small one.
Conducting formal monthly board meetings creates the process and discipline for strategic thinking instead of tactical fire-fighting.
There’s a little more involved. Think about creating a business model where you develop an expert panel of customers as an “external” board of directors. Add a little a yin-yang for business vision. By polling your early adopters, as well as your long-term loyal customers and newly acquired ones, you create “news” for your board meetings.
That’s something everyone can focus on, objectively and strategically.
It’s important to maintain strategic perspective and business context. Otherwise you may be running your business to please your internal board of directors (family members, founders and investors).
Keeping your focus on your customers allows you and your business to be nimble, attuned to, and anticipatory of trends in your marketplace.
Many small to mid sized companies are family-owned. Board meetings, more like conversations with specific individuals, tend to occur at family gatherings and at home in the kitchen. When you live with your board members, it’s difficult to separate work from home from family. The opportunity for focus is lost in this scenario.
Your startup may have an all-hands-on-deck, 24/7 tactical fire-fighting dynamic. Your entire team is so wrapped up in the day to day drama of finding funding or customers, and refining your offering or capabilities, that you become very short-sighted. If you maintain this short-sighted, high energy drama, you may short-change the strategic potential of your startup. A context of constant crisis management prevents you from seeing the big picture.
Think bigger. Even if your business or startup will remain small and extremely successful. Give yourself the opportunity for creating an objective, neutral forum for exchanging perspectives and opinions. That oasis for your board of directors creates sustainability.
Board meetings give you the opportunity to distill what may be a subjective reaction into an objective business case. Especially if you are vetting your insights against what your expert panel of customers has told you.
Board meetings remove you from familiar surroundings and give you and your board members the opportunity to see the same things: differently, without emotional baggage.
Formal board of directors meetings are a forum for context, perspective and insight. Board meetings are an oasis for collaboration.
When is your next formal Board of Directors meeting? Where are you conducting your meeting? What are you planning on discussing?
Babette N. Ten Haken, President of Sales Aerobics for Engineers®, LLC, catalyzes business transition, startup growth, and professional development. She works with non-traditional sellers and their Board of Directors, engineers, manufacturers, and technical startups creating sustainable legacy business models. Her book on sales and engineering collaboration strategies, Do YOU Mean Business? is available on Amazon.com.