I recently had the pleasure to read Brad Feld’s and Mahendra Ramsinghani’s book: Startup Boards. I would clearly advice you to read it because the numerous examples and situations shared by the authors give some valuable insights in Corporate Governance in practice. As I’m not going to summarise the book in this blog article as many do it better than me (you will find a good summary on this page), I highlighted and pinpointed the most important section to my eyes – as a seasoned board facilitator and founder of TCD Capital.
We, at TCD Capital, put in practice many of the recipe cited in the book. As we focus on facilitating relationships on Boards and General Assemblies between non-executive investors, generally minority shareholders, and the executive co-owners, we particularly liked to find common references to the author’s experience and our processes.
The advices we want to share with you is the following (from chapter “managing ongoing expectations”):
“Whether the CEO is the chair of the Board or not, they (the CEOs) in many respects, occupy the key leadership position on the board since their actions for the most part drive the board agenda, the board interaction style, and board participation. And while CEO styles are as varied as the number of CEO’s out there, there are a few basic things that boards expect from their CEO no matter how the Board is organized;
- Open and honest communication […]
- Don’t manage the Board ..
- Be prepared […]
- No surprises […]
- Don’t have the board meeting before the board meeting […]
- Make requests and make them clear […]
In addition, the following quote illustrates perfectly the relationship type we aim to build as governance facilitators at TCD Capital:
Someone once said to me that the CEO has the loneliest job in the world. And in many respects, that’s true. However, the board exists to help alleviate that by giving CEO’s a sounding board for ideas and a peer group with whom to interact. Critical to a strong relationship between a CEO and his board are these key building blocks that allow boards and CEO’s to interact openly, efficiently, and effectively
Seth Levine – Managing Director Foundry Group
Many has been said in this extract. However, as human nature is as varied as there are representations of it, we believe that both parties will benefit of our governance process so to facilitate the necessary trust between both parties.
A description of that governance process can be obtained if requested at [email protected]