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I sit on a company’s Board of Directors (BOD) as Chairman.  I took over from the previous Chair as he left the BOD. I have been on this BOD from the very beginning.  I actually suggested to the owner that he should have a Board of Advisors(BOA) or a BOD.  The company has been stagnant, and I thought if he brought in a BOA or BOD could help them get to the next level.

I was surprised when they took my advice, even more so when they requested that I join. We started with a BOA.  They brought on an old consultant they used in the past to run things.  We moved slowly but forward.

Then they shifted gears not liking the pace or results.  Then I was invited to be on their BOD, I accepted again.  I saw momentum.  Slow but momentum. The BOD picked up a slightly better pace, but I was not thrilled with the mix of the BOD.  After a couple years the Chairman left and I was asked to step up.

I restructured the BOD with the owners permission.  I asked one family member to step down from the board.  It was obvious that they did not like the meetings, too stressful.  I meet with the person after each BOD meeting to go over the reports in a more relaxed environment.  I added a sales expert and a marketing expert to the BOD.  We already had an HR expert. So the board has a better balance.

In the last few years the company has grown, the department heads all give their reports we talk about measurables and KPI.  The sales department is acting in a more aggressive manner than in the companies history.

For bring people onto the BOD I have used these simple guidelines:

  • How should the board be structured to ensure are we getting the most out of it?
  • Who should serve on the board?
  • Where can we find qualified board members?
  • How much work will be involved for board members, and how should we compensate them?

I am a firm believer that all family businesses should have a BOA or BOD based on their size and desires.

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