“Kelly took a boardroom that was at a stalemate and skillfully moved them forward with clear action plans and accountabilities. Through his facilitation and meeting structures he created majority agreement that greatly benefited the company. Through his innovative processes and effective communication style, Kelly created high morale on this board. The client’s needs were met and the client was expertly guided through the implementation and achievement of their mission.”
No well-run corporation, family owned or not, can operate efficiently without a periodic review of its chief executive officer. His/her family members, employees and managers cannot provide this review. They are too close and are paid help. The business owner can get their opinion anytime, and, often, get any opinion he/she wishes. So where does the owner manager go for candid review, inspiration and support when the going gets tough? This is the job for an outside board of directors.
To run a company well, the owner manager needs the assistance of men and women whom he/she can trust and men/women who believe in him/her and his/her goals. Privately-held companies die much faster and violently than large, publicly held companies. The smaller structure of the family owned business cannot withstand or absorb errors in judgement with the serenity of the larger public companies. A good board of outside directors can help head off critical mistakes. It can provide a system for checks and balances that become so necessary with the increased size and complexity of a growing family business. It can require the owner manager to think things through before acting or insist on action if he/she is dragging his/her feet. One thing is certain. The owner manager cannot go it alone. Board members are there for their opinions, in all areas of their competence, even if it does sometimes mean telling the owner manager what he/she doesn’t want to hear.
The single most important job of the board of directors in the family corporation should be to provide for the profitable continuity of the business. It must promote proper management development to allow for the “passing of the torch” from one generation to the next. It must help bridge the generation gap and the attendant problems in communicating goals to the young and assuring the competence of the successor. Contact me so we can work together to create your board or refine and improve what you already have in place.