I am often asked, “how do I really kick my business into overdrive? I want results but I am always losing focus, how do I ensure that I stay focussed and really attend to the things that make a difference”.
Well, one way that you can really keep yourselves focused and keep business tracking the way you want to over the longer term is to form a board. It basically is to do as the BREAKTHROUGH companies do.
At our business camps I mention on a number of occasions about the importance of a board of directors and why every business should have a board. I also say that all of the breakthrough companies have a board.
The breakthrough companies are making greater profits and their business value is growing faster than the non breakthrough companies. So they are doing something that works.
I am also not one for reinventing the wheel. If something works then “see how it can work for you and your business” is my motto. Success at times comes from copying what great companies do. So if we follow what successful companies do we will have a better chance to get results like they do.
I have also had many discussions with people and they say often, “I do not want to copy what they do, their model does not work in my business or in my industry”. To that I always say “look at the positives of what doing something differently in your business can provide. It is always an advantage to do something differently from your competitors or others in your industry. You will in turn stand out over time and be seen to be the leader in your field”. Also, do not say “no I will not introduce a board of directors in my business as that is for big business or people that think they are great”. In Australia we do at times tend to have what we call ‘the tall poppy syndrome’. If someone or some business is doing well we try to look for the negatives because we try to cut successful people and businesses down. We should not be doing that, we should be looking at what they are doing and what results it is bringing them. Like I said before do not always look at reinventing the wheel, see how something can work for you and your business”.
So I say a resounding ‘yes a board is critical for any business keen to go the next level no matter what size your business is’.
The importance of a board:
- You have a group of people that you can sound your thoughts and ideas out on. That truly can be a valuable resource as business is not about which individual can come up with the answer. It is all about working together and having a brains trust to bounce ideas around and come up with the answers.
TEAM actually stands for Together, Everyone, Achieves, More.
- Brings extra experience into your business. All the businesses that make it have teams that work together and do not just rely on individuals. This is very important for family owned businesses. There are many instances where family owned businesses are insulated from what goes on in their industry. Having a board of directors with independent and external people helps remove that issue.
- Creates a higher level of accountability. Being accountable makes people focused on achieving what they say they are going to do. You cannot attend a board meeting having committed to complete a task or to do something and then say at the meeting “I did not get to do that”. This is because everyone that is on the board is accountable to each other and you cannot go there and say “I did not do that but I will next time we meet”. You can however say to a family member or business partner that you did not have time and you will get to it.
- Structured process for strategies and ideas to be discussed. Structure is everything in business, life and sport. If we lose our structure then we could be doing the wrong things and thinking we are doing the right things. You have monthly meetings which typically would have an agenda and they follow some structure. This will dramatically enhance your own and your overall businesses performance. I guarantee that.
- Family businesses at times need independent people on the board. This avoids thinking with the heart and also enhances communication.
Who should be on the board:
- Your accountant or adviser
- Someone from your industry
- Someone external and independent of your industry with large amounts of GOOD business experience. I for example can do this role for you – I have seen the workings of thousands of businesses in different industries.
Having a Board and getting serious about your business is truly a long term investment in your business. For most of us our business is one of our most important and most valuable assets. We must ensure that we give our business every chance we can to succeed. One of the strategies to help make your business work better and one that can help you reach the targets you set is to have a board of directors.
Whichever way you go – please seriously consider forming a board. I urge you to do so.
To discuss any of the above further please do not hesitate to contact me at