In a best-case scenario, the Board of Directors of an organization is aligned with the CEO, and provides support and direction to help realize shared goals and drive corporate success. But any given board is comprised of individuals, with varied skills and expectations. A good board member, one who brings expertise and insight, and who works well with the CEO, can add significant value. This blog post will address what a good board member looks like, and why it is important to pursue those members when considering the composition of your board.
A board member can speak up
Some board members participate just as figureheads, lending their names to add credibility and enhance their own portfolio of service. These board members don’t generally challenge the CEO, and leave him to his own devices.
Needless to say, this type of board member does not tend to add value.
Conversely, a board member who feels invested – practically and emotionally – can help to challenge the CEO and move the organization on the right path to success. By speaking up, providing counsel and drawing from their own experience, a board member can have a dramatic impact on an organization, even from the side lines.
A board member can establish accountability
A board member doesn’t necessarily roll up his sleeves and dig into the day-to-day operations of the business. However, a board member does hold the managers of the organization accountable to what they have promised to deliver.
This layer of accountability can make a significant difference. When a board member holds a CEO and his executive team accountable to identified and agreed-upon goals, there is a much greater likelihood of successful performance outcomes.
A board member can build networks
Arguably one of the more valuable things that a board member can bring to the table is his rolodex. As an organization works to build new business and grow its network of prospects, a well-connected board member can play a key role in this regard.
By initiating introductions with the right people at the right time, a board member can add very important and tangible value that drives organizational growth.
A board member can recruit
As a company grows, attracting and retaining top talent becomes a pressing priority.
An engaged and experienced board member can help to identify viable executive candidates because he understands the needs of your organization more intimately than a professional recruiter. Sometimes, finding the right fit for your organization has much more to do with who you know than anything else.
A board member can help grow a sense of identity
What does your company stand for? What is your corporate voice? What matters to your stakeholders? Often, the CEO and leadership team help to define these things, but a board member can contribute in a meaningful way.
Particularly if it is a board member who has worked with similar companies and understands your target market, he can provide feedback to help to craft a corporate identity that will resonate with stakeholders and customers.
Are you looking to build your board of directors? Contact Miller Bernstein today for your free consultation and we can answer questions that you have about corporate governance and what matters.