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Board Meetings – Boring Corporate Governance or Wise Greybeards?
Board Meetings – Boring Corporate Governance or Wise Greybeards?

In the previous article, available: http://biz4afrika.com/resources/article/BoardMeetings we discussed a rather weighty subject, the importance of conducting board meetings. Unfortunately, these are items on the “To-Do” list that you as a founding shareholder in your company will have to do at some stage in the life cycle of your business. So, knowledge is power, and being forewarned is being forearmed. This will be especially true once you start to get potential investors sniffing around trying to buy into your business. While your company may not be at that stage just yet, if you are successful at what you are doing, that time will arrive a lot sooner than imagined.

A large gap stated by many entrepreneurs is the lack of access to information and the internet simply cannot provide the level of wisdom that many business owners seek when making tough decisions. This is especially true for those big strategic decisions. Should I expand into other countries? How about into other geographies altogether such as the US? What about my pricing strategy - is this subscription model the best way to hit maximum profits? And what about my product range? Should I expand into different categories entirely or stick with what I know?

These are the types of questions that could use the services of a wise greybeard. This is where a well constituted board could add enormous value to the entrepreneur. In fact, this principle has been firmly entrenched in publicly-listed companies operating on stock exchanges where the board of directors provides oversight and guidance to the executive management team. So, if the seasoned professionals acknowledge they need guidance, what is your stance as a start-up? Unless you are a teenager, you don’t know everything yet.

The trick, of course, is to constitute a board of directors that you can use as a sounding board for crazy and innovative ideas. More importantly, they can keep you “honest” to your goals and purpose by getting you to provide monthly or quarterly feedback on progress in the business or to simply use them for helping solve those gritty problems where you do not have the solutions. The most valuable directors are those that provide access to markets by having deep networks and that can open doors for you with other company directors.

The question you’re burning to ask – how much do I have to pay them?

And, where do I find these wise greybeards? And, I‘ve heard of executive directors and non-executive directors, what is the difference, and are there other types of directors?

Who, by the way, do not have to greybeards. However, they do have to be wise!

These topics and more are discussed in other articles and are available until next month.

 

 

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