By Jeff Brocklebank.
If your business is growing, regular board and executive team meetings should be on the agenda. At a critical stage in their expansion, nearly all of our most successful clients have implemented a quarterly meeting structure. This often involves creating a formal board of directors or an advisory board that functions in much the same way.
The structure could consist of:
- Executive team only;
- Board of directors including non-active shareholders; or
- Board of advisers and/or directors including executives and possibly outsiders.
Business owners often hesitate to set up such a structure because they don’t see the obvious benefits or understand how it should operate. Our recommendation: Build it and they will come. In other words, start with a formal agenda and meeting, using the first gathering to talk about long-term concerns.
WHY HOLD QUARTERLY MEETINGS?
The key benefits of holding quarterly meetings include:
- Having a forum to discuss strategic initiatives and to brainstorm ideas. (Long-term success requires planning – a tough task when you’re immersed in day-to-day operations.)
- Helping to identify gaps in the management structure and/or how senior executives/owners can move away from operations into strategic planning, which enables them to enhance wealth creation.
- Creating accountability by distributing minutes, including action items.
- Imposing discipline on the board and/or executive team.
For one of our clients, here’s how meetings evolved:
- The business was expanding, new opportunities were identified, and everyone was busy.
- They started with quarterly strategic meetings, initially involving outside advisors.
- The meetings developed a structure, and outsider advisors only attended when needed.
- The decisions from these meetings resulted in significant business growth and a successful sale.
HOW WALSH KING CAN HELP
Walsh King has helped many clients develop a format for quarterly meetings, by creating initial agendas and identifying strategic opportunities, among other things.
Let us do the same for you.
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