A few months ago ABFI held an event here in Edmonton called “Creating an Outside Board of Directors”. The presenter, Don Zinyk did a great job walking the attendees through the steps of setting up a board of directors. It is good to make note, however, that often the most difficult step is not the set up, but the handing over of power to your board.
Setting up your Board of Directors is not only key to any good succession plan, but often it is also the first instance an owner manager needs to hand over power from his or herself to another decision-making body. This is often where the process stalls;
“There is no way I am sharing my business secrets or letting some outsider tell me what to do!”
But let’s look at this from another perspective. Are you a marketing expert, a banker, an accountant, or any other business advisory specialist that a business would need? If the answer is no to any one of these questions, then why not bring them on as advisors to your business?
An advisor is not there to tell you what to do, but to provide guidance on how you can continue to work on your business all the while you work in your business. As an individual, a board member has no power. As a collective they are mandated to help you stay focused on your vision, mission and family values.
Don’t fear the board. If built right, it has some of the greatest minds working on your business. Your success can even be greater when you bring great minds on to your team to keep their sights on your success, from a view of 10,000 ft in the clouds.