There are plenty of books, podcasts, and articles about useful tips on how to better manage and understand your company. Advice is often more or less relevant to specific situations or contexts. We would like to propose a handful of general, always applicable and useful tips that can boost your company’s effectiveness. it is always good to remember about perhaps the obvious, but often involuntarily neglected knowledge about running a prosperous company.
It appears that every important meeting if it wants to be productive and fruitful, should have specific shapes and rules regarding the topic and order maintained. Although having it free flow or improvisational allows spontaneous ideas working as a spark-plug for new concepts regarding the future of the company, it often comes along with a certain lack of feeling that everything goes according to plan and important goals set before the meeting. It is always better to set a scheme for the meeting of the Board – may be as a bullet-point instruction for working order. Topic, aspects and business decisions need to be sorted in order of importance. Productive meetings always start with the most relevant issues. Making that changes in your company’s routine can save a lot of time and energy for your Board members.
Although making the annual strategic plan is not an obligation resulting from the Statute or the legal regulations, the value that such a plan brings cannot be overestimated. Generally speaking, it helps to achieve the most important tasks and goals at the right time and helps to avoid delays or negative consequences due to the neglect of key issues. It gives the navigation marker for your business. The annual plan is also a great tool to settle the past year in terms of pure productivity and can reliably measure the value that the company’s management puts in over the year. It is usually the Chairman of the Board’s responsibility to prepare the annual plan and to ensure its realization over the year.
In a perfect world, every member of the Board should possess different skillset and areas of specialization, so the company can be better prepared to face future challenges. Such a situation would greatly increase the value-creating aspect of every Board meeting. We advise you to get closer to that ideal with every staff decision. The common knowledge suggests that a uniformed workgroup (specialized in similar aspects or derived from the same background) tends to fall into a tunnel vision. The ability to look wide enough to identify long-term issues is a fundamental competence, not a luxury.
It is also good to have at least one of the company’s Board members completely independent from the CEO, not related in any way. Independence is a great substitute for diversity in the composition of the group.
Last but not least – some obvious recommendation that is frequently and wildly ignored, so it should be repeated over and over again. Every meeting should devote a significant amount of time to planning the near and predicting the far future. Not in a clairvoyant manner. Actual issues are important, the euphemistic “firefighting” with recent troubles is also crucial, but the Board shouldn’t be the keeper of the company rather that it should be the most visionary body of the enterprise.