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15 May Five Mistakes That Startups Make When Choosing a Board Member

Five mistakes that startups make when choosing a board member: Name recognition is everything- Small startups often think that if they can get a well known person to join their board then the company's credibility is confirmed.  The problem is that the effect of getting a big name person to join is very fleeting and the likelihood that marquee name will dedicate the time and do the hard work of being an effective board member for a start up is low.  Great idea just not very practical. Our new board member will bring….new customers, investors, employees.  Once again this is very short...

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09 May Our Search Practice: Recruiting Board Members

Our Search Practice: Recruiting Board Members We have had great success in recruiting board members for our clients.  One big reason for this is because of our diverse corporate search practice and deep experience we have working with all the functions of our successful client [caption id="attachment_229" align="alignright" width="300"] Recruiting Board Members[/caption] companies.  This, combined with serving on boards of private companies ourselves gives us the firsthand knowledge and experience on how to identify gaps in boards and what an ideal board member looks like. The key to recruiting a successful board member is to understand the company, culture, current and future strategy.  Combine...

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07 May Board of Advisors or a Board of Directors

Should you have a Board of Advisors instead of a Board of Directors In private companies, the biggest question facing ownership that wants a board is should it be a Board of Directors or a Board of Advisors?  If there is a single owner of the business the answer is most likely a Board of Advisors.  The Board is only making recommendations that ultimately management does not have to follow since there is a single majority owner. The exception is when the owner does not run the company, but has a separate CEO and management team.  Then the governance that a Board...

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05 May Best Practices for an Active Board Member

Best Practices for an active board member Board members that bring the most value to a company’s board are very engaged.  Below is a checklist to review to evaluate yourself or your current board members: Do you know the business? This does not mean simply what management tells you,  but having a deep understanding of how the company makes [caption id="attachment_216" align="alignright" width="300"] Best Practices for an Active Board Member: Are you engaged?[/caption] money, its operations, executives, challenges and opportunities.  Have you done your own due-diligence? Are you interested and invested in the business? Do you always come prepared to board or committee meetings? Do you have the...

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02 May The Diversity Myth: A Board Search Firm’s Perspective

A Board Search Firm Perspective:  The Diversity Myth When most companies and their boards think of diversity they are most often concerned about two things, GENDER & RACE.  This is not completely off base but it is far from totally accurate.  Much of what is published on diversity today is focused on the inclusion of women on corporate boards given the overall population is evenly split between men and women, but board representation is not.  Several foreign governments have already mandated board diversity and even the state of California has passed a resolution for public companies directing the number of women that must...

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30 Apr Board Effectiveness: Don’t let your board members lie down on the job.

Board Effectiveness:  Don't let your board members lie down on the job. A board member's value is fully realized when they are an engaged and active part of the board and the company.  Unfortunately, some end up just taking up space. Most board members who "retire on the job" but keep serving do this for one or more of several reasons: 1. They were never really that engaged in the business and invested in its success. 2. They are to busy and not able to give the appropriate attention to your board's work. 3. They feel that their voice is not being heard or...

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28 Apr Getting Great Results From Your Next Board Member

A Board Search Firm's Take on Getting Great Results From Your Next Board Member. So one of your current directors/advisors wants to move on or you want to expand and is time to add a new board member.  Typically the first thought is, "who do I know that would be a good addition to the current board".  In this case, your first thought might not be your best. You need to think about the issues facing the company and how you can fill the gaps in the current board and senior management team.  Some key considerations in selecting the best director and realizing...

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20 Nov Best way to get noticed as a diversity board candidate!

Best way to get noticed as a diversity board candidate! Many companies strive to bring diversity to the Board of Directors.  As a matter of fact, in August of this year, the State of California passed Senate Resolution 62, calling publicly-held companies to place at least three females on boards of nine or more seats, two females on boards of five to eight seats, and one female on smaller boards.  This means there are going to be more opportunities for women in California.  Having said that, there are two key things that a diversity candidate should do to be better prepared to get...

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29 Oct Keys to Hiring a Non-Family CEO

In private, family-owned companies, often there comes a time to have a non-family member be the CEO. This can be a challenging decision for the company and, more importantly, the family to make. The big questions are: 1. Will there be room at the top for future generations of the family to run the business? 2. Does this new CEO fully appreciate the uniqueness of our family business? 3. How do we structure the new CEO's compensation plan without diluting ownership? 4. Many more specific to the family business! Hiring a CEO Outside of the Family The best approach to these and the plethora of questions...

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most valuable director

07 Oct MVD – Most Valuable Director

In looking at your board members, how do you evaluate their value to the business? Having a room full of Most Valuable Directors (MVD's as we like to call them) will lead to success.  The first thing is to determine what the expectation is for any board member that you have.  In my opinion these basic expectations include; 1) Know the business: this means that they are visiting the company's operations and executives so they know what makes the business tick 2) Be prepared: any material that is provided by the company to you as a director you need to read and...

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