This is an excerpt from a column posted at BizOpinion.
Do you look forward to your board meetings? Are they insightful, productive, and inspiring? Or are they more of a distractive obligation?
Your board should be your greatest asset. If not, you need to take responsibility for it, and then act to transform it. By following these recommendations, you will create and unleash an asset that will better serve your shareholders, executive team, company, and career.
First of all, the composition of your board needs to reflect the company that you want to become, and not the company that you are or once were. As just one example, if you are striving to transform your company into a multinational, your board should be comprised of a mix of people that collectively possess the needed range and depth of perspective, experience, and professional contacts to do so.
Secondly, board membership needs be viewed as analogous to a relay race, but too often it is viewed more like academic tenure. Different skills sets are required to take your company from zero to $1 million, from $1 million to $10 million, from $10 million to $100 million, and so on. Or from a distribution to a product company. Or, once again, from a domestic to a multinational company. Welcome all growing pains and adjust accordingly. Your board needs to view its expected handing off of the baton as a great milestone achievement for them, and a confirmation of a relay race stage well run.