Connect with us

Strategy

Giving Your Board A Focus

You’ve created a board for your company. Now what? Here’s how to give your newly-founded board some focus and direction.

Carl Bates

Published

on

board-of-directors

Assuming you’ve been successful in your quest for growth by gathering the right balance of executive, non-executive and independent directors with both commercial acumen and governance understanding, now what?

You may be faced with the task of embarking on a journey of governance yet feel ill-equipped to decide what to do next. The board, once formed, becomes a unit that operates as a whole.

We-recommend-tickWe recommend: Greg Tinkler On Managing Business Breakups

This requires some start-up activities to formalise new relationships and provide direction. Here are ways you can take that next step:

Get to know each other

A high-performing board is built on the foundation of effective relationships, which take time to develop.

As a team you evolve and deepen your mutual understanding and respect with each board meeting.

The start of this journey can be enhanced by getting to know each other outside the board room and by assuming that you are all in it for the long haul, and therefore invested in each other’s success.

Agree on a governance methodology

Each director and executive will have his or her own opinion of what governance means and how one should go about its effective implementation.

In agreeing on a single comprehensive methodology, you ensure that all directors share the same picture of what they are responsible for and what a high-performing board looks like.

Without this agreed framework in place, precious time can be wasted arguing procedure rather than unlocking value. Stick with the methodology you choose.

Formalise the terms of engagement

Clarify what it means to be a high-performing director in your company and formalise your board culture and the expectations you have of each other in a board charter.

This policy sets clear principles on board values, such as trust, respect, and candour, and scope and functions.

This should include meeting frequency, minute-taking procedures, voting rules, and specific responsibilities bestowed on the chairman. It should become a governing or guiding document to support the board.

Even though the annual board evaluation process holds directors accountable for the terms agreed, the board should hold itself accountable to this charter in every engagement.

We-recommend-tickWe recommend: Successful SA Entreps Share Their Most Valuable Business Advice Ever Received

Give management appropriate power

In a privately-held company, the executive team members are most likely familiar with making their own decisions and not having to follow a set of ‘rules’ provided by a board. Ironically, this is one of the areas of greatest positive impact that a newly formed board can make.

In providing specific guidelines on what management can or cannot do without board approval, known as a delegation of authority, there is an immediate reinforcement of sound decision-making.

Maverick business leaders may balk at having to explain their rationale or having their plans questioned, yet this should strengthen the company and the maturity of its decision-making.

Plan the year ahead

Governance brings with it a whole new drum-beat for a business. There are many new things to consider and implement in the early stages. Planning is critical in establishing a new business cycle that builds momentum and gets the process flowing.

As such, it is highly valuable to agree board-meeting dates for a year in advance and plan the themes and focus areas for each board meeting in a way that supports the natural cycles of the business. For example, if your financial year-end is February, approve your business plan and budget prior to this date.

We-recommend-tickWe recommend: 5 Business Lessons From Billionaire Mentors

Before you can approve your business plan you need to have an agreed strategy.

Planning each of these steps into your calendar, when most appropriate, ensures a comprehensive approach while establishing momentum and energising progress.

Carl Bates is a global entrepreneur, speaker, author, mentor and director. Currently based in South Africa, he is a dynamic entrepreneur from New Zealand who guides small to medium businesses to achieve Extreme Business Success.

Advertisement
Comments

Strategy

4 Ways To Find Your Own Business Style

The only way to develop a business style is step-by-step over time.

Timothy Sykes

Published

on

business-style

Finding a style in finance will define how you react to changes and how you approach new situations. It’s as important in business as it is in stock trading. Developing a business style and developing a stock trading system are extremely similar pursuits.

But I’m not going to pretend that it’s easy to do. It will take time and you do have to be willing to work at it.

Here are my four ways of finding your own business style.

1. Get rid of your expectations

You can’t force anything to work. It’s necessary for you to be flexible when it comes to finding a business style. Begin by letting go of any expectations you have before trying a new style.

Prior to attempting a new style, you have to be willing to go into it with no expectations. You never know what you’re going to find.

Related: 8 Steps to Building Your Business According to the Lifestyle You Want

2. Track your movements

Some things are going to work and some things aren’t going to work. I always tell my students in the Tim Sykes Millionaire Challenge that they should keep records of the things they’re doing. Keep these records as detailed as possible because attempting trial and error can quickly lead you in circles.

Don’t fall into the trap (as I did in the beginning) of trying the same thing multiple times because you never tracked the results.

I keep large spreadsheets with notes of the various styles and systems I’ve tried in business. Business mistakes can be costly, so you need to do everything you can to avoid making them.

3. Look at what others are doing

business-options

I refuse to believe that someone is doing something truly unique. The moment someone makes a breakthrough in business there are a hundred people replicating the same things. And that can be a powerful tool. Consider what others are doing and see whether you can learn something.

It’s why I also advocate finding a mentor to help you out. They’ll be able to help you out and you’ll benefit from their enhanced experiences in business.

Again, track what you’re taking from other people so you know whether something is working.

Related: I Started Saying ‘No’ To These 6 Things. My Life And My Business Got A Lot Better

4. Refine what you do

Rarely will anything in business work the first time. However, your first attempts will give you a good benchmark as to what you need to do next.

You should never be satisfied with what you have, even if it’s working. Always work on improving your business style. I believe this is the most important thing because it also teaches you how to adapt to changing conditions over time.

Last Word – Constantly Growing

There’s no step-by-step guide for how to develop a business style. The only way to do it is to obey the fundamentals and then develop everything over time.

Even though the process is long, you’re guaranteed to learn a lot of lessons and gain from a huge number of experiences over time.

This article was originally posted here on Entrepreneur.com.

Continue Reading

Strategy

6 Questions You Should Be Asking When Coaching

Top athletes have coaches because they’re winners. Business leaders should be the same.

Nadine Todd

Published

on

Dr Marshall Goldsmith

Whether you’re a CEO looking for a mentor, coaching your management team, or structuring a coaching programme for your managers to implement, there are six questions that can help anyone get better at anything.

The expert

Dr Marshall Goldsmith is a best-selling author and world-renowned business educator and coach. He has coached top CEOs, including Alan Mulally, former President and CEO of Ford Motor Company.

The key to a successful coaching programme is simple dialogue and establishing responsibility. The person being coached must understand and agree that success lies in their hands. They must take responsibility for their actions.

Related: How Business Coaching Can Help You Achieve Your Goals

The method

Once every few months, have a direct coaching session. Ask (or answer for yourself) these six questions:

  1. Where are we going?
  2. Where are you going?
  3. What are you doing well?
  4. Do you have suggestions for my improvement?
  5. How can I help you?
  6. So you have suggestions for me?

Continue Reading

Strategy

4 Ways To Develop The Leaders You’ll Need In The Future

One of the most challenging aspects of leadership development is consistently and effectively identifying the next wave of leaders.

Published

on

leadership

One of the most challenging aspects of leadership development is consistently and effectively identifying the next wave of leaders.

It can be easy for those at the top to forget that eventually someone will have to take their place at the helm. And ignoring that fact has lead to issues with succession planning, unwanted turnover and other challenges in leadership development in many organisations.

2016 High Impact Leadership research from Bersin by Deloitte asked 2,422 HR and business leaders from around the world how well they believed they could discover new leadership talent. Just 35 percent of respondents said they were above average when it came to successfully identifying and developing leaders.

To understand why this is, consider the typical leadership development paradox. Traditionally, the first step is to choose who has leadership potential, then develop their skillset. Logically, however, this makes little sense.

How is it possible to identify effective leaders if employees have yet to receive any type of leadership development?

Here are four ways to properly identify better qualified candidates for leadership positions:

1Stop choosing potential leaders based on unrelated skills

Gallup’s 2015 State of the American Manager Report, which studied 2.5 million manager-led teams in 195 countries, found that the top two reasons employees are promoted to management positions are because they were successful in a non-managerial role or because of their tenure with the company. Neither of those criteria have any proven correlation with leadership skills or relevant experience.

Create a better means of measuring for true leadership potential. Look at the culture of the organisation and envision what it would look like for someone to lead by those values.

Also consider how successful leaders evolved over time in the organisation. Then use that information to make a list of recognisable traits to look for as signs of leadership potential.

2Broaden leadership development to more employees

People learn and grow at their own unique pace. Requiring that an employee reach a certain position or be with the company for a certain number of years before they’re offered leadership opportunities holds back those who might be ready for more responsibility now. Or even worse, it might push those who aren’t yet ready into leadership roles.

Instead, let leadership development be a company-wide initiative. This gives more people the chance to take the next step in their career. It also creates a larger pool of possible great leaders to draw from across the organisation.

3Track progress and growth

Track progress and growth

There’s no way of knowing who is ready to step up and lead unless development is monitored. Remember that this is a process. Employees need feedback from their mentors and coaches to know for certain what skills they’ve mastered as well as where there can still be improvements made.

Develop a way to assess progress for different leadership positions, and be clear with employees and coaches about what success would look like in different situations. For instance, explain what is expected of a first time project leader.

Get everyone on the same page about the developing leader’s responsibilities and how that should guide their team.

Then collect thorough feedback from all those involved. Ask the leadership candidate what challenges they faced as well as where they think they thrived. Pose the same questions to those they supervised and organisational mentors.

Over time, this will reveal patterns that make it easier to identify who is best suited for leadership in the long-term.

4Focus on continual leadership development

There is no such thing as too much experience. There is always more that can be learned. After leadership candidates have been identified, continue to nurture them. This keeps employees from feeling that they have plateaued, which is unfortunately common.

The 2014 Insigniam Middle Management Survey: Middle Management’s Critical Role In Saving Company Innovation looked at responses from 200 middle managers from around the world. It found that only 15 percent of managers believe they will ever be promoted to the next level of leadership at their company.

Whether intentionally or not, employees who have proven their leadership abilities are being told that their leadership journey is over – and this hurts both them and the organisation. Encourage a steady stream of highly trained and skilled leaders working their way up by demonstrating that there is no end to development.

In order to clearly see who the next wave of leaders is going to be, employees need to be given the chance to hone and exercise their skills.

That means redefining how leadership potential is identified and providing each employee with the chance to develop personally and professionally.

This article was originally posted here on Entrepreneur.com.

Continue Reading

Trending

FREE E-BOOK: How to Build an Entrepreneurial Mindset

Sign up now for Entrepreneur's Daily Newsletters to Download​​