Learnings from sitting on multiple Boards

If you asked me five years ago how many company boards I’m on, my answer was pretty simple; one, my own. Right now I sit on six, all in different industries. The learning’s have been awesome.

Strategy really does matter and how a business executes the plan ongoing is critical. It’s concerning how many boards stay away from strategy and play in the safety of accountability and key performance indicators. It feels like strategic plans have been done to death and they probably have however, the value is in the opportunities uncovered and the simplicity of execution. What makes it easier to execute is simplicity, which ironically can actually be quite complex to achieve. Use the plan day-to-day, change when required, and drive the strategy into the operations of the company.

Human behaviour has always held my interest. Understanding the dynamics within the boardroom is fascinating and critically important. Lets not forget that a company is full of people (robots are on the rise but we are still in control, right?!). The reality is if you don’t try to understand the people your influence will be weak. We all want to deal with people we like, or want to be like. The boardroom is no different.

The real action (and change) happens outside the boardroom. I can’t stand a closed shop; the board should have great data flowing into it from the operations of the business. This improves decision-making and generates actions that will truly change the company.

Cash can hide the real issues. In a world where capital raising has become cool, you have to dig deeper to get to the truth. Lets not kid ourselves, nothing has really changed. A consumer still has to buy from a company (at the correct price) for that company to be successful. I’m amazed at the lack of attention to this simple fact. When did how much capital a company has raised become more important than generating a sustainable profit?

My business life has grown into a journey of learning, insights and discovery. I feel privileged to be involved.