My very own golden rule is ‘Proper Preparation Prevents Piss Poor Performance.’
This is especially true when it comes to working with a Board of Advisers.
The CEO or CEO’s staff should send material and bring board members up to speed well in advance of each meeting. Busy is not an excuse for not doing this. These meetings should be one of your biggest priorities. Give members plenty of advanced notice about the issues you’ll be talking about at the meeting, so they can prepare and you can benefit.
Ideally the report should be brief, and contain updates on:
- The company’s achievements since the last meeting
- The areas in which the company is struggling
- Any key, relevant metrics
- Financial statements showing key ratios and performance versus budget, versus previous quarter and year
- Key decisions the company may be facing in the coming quarter and year
- And every report should include your company’s Painted Picture as an ongoing reminder of what’s being built
The board’s prep package should also contain:
- Facts as well as feelings various board members have regarding company
- Specifics versus generalizations
- The absolute truth. If there is existing stress between members of the leadership team, then those underlying facts must be revealed to the board so they have the same level of transparency to be able to help you.
If your leadership team is worried that board members might ‘think less of them’ with some fact being brought into the open, then the trust begins to erode and the advice the board gives is never as ‘informed’ as it could and should be.
Don’t let anyone’s pride get in the way of great advice.