Monthly Archives: October 2009

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What makes boards great?

Oct 30th

The board of a newly-merged business recently put ‘getting to know each other better’ at the top of their wish list for the board. Given their huge strategic agenda and complex business challenges, enjoying a board dinner or two together could seem like fiddling while Rome burns.

In fact, knowing each other as people is the basis for respect between board members, and respect is the basis of trust.  Members of the board had instinctively latched on to the thing that would make most difference to them adding real value to the business. 

Research shows that the conventional wisdom about what makes



Make the most of your critical friends

Oct 16th

It’s good for SMEs to have a number of people that they can call upon for advice and support.

A few years ago when my business was reviewing its proposition and strategy, we realised that we’d reach that age – and growth stage – when we would benefit from a fresh, external perspective: people who were prepared to challenge our thinking and help us reach sound market-based decisions.

We didn’t want people who would take on the formal roles of non-executives (though that of course may be the best option for many larger businesses); we needed people with whom we could share