Onboard Your Board – AVC

A quick, tactical read from Fred Wilson (@avc): we put effort into onboarding programs to get new hires up to speed with our products, our partners, our tools, and our culture, why not have the same program for board members?  I’ve had great board members, but I definitely remember moments where their understanding of our business wasn’t as detailed as required to really participate in some discussions.

Set up “one on ones” with your entire senior team, have them attend an all hands, have them sit in on the weekly management meeting, and spend some quality time with them (dinner?) during this process.

Not a lot of effort, and will pay huge dividends in the quality of their work with you, and the depth of their relationship with the company.

They will be “up to speed” on the business from the very first board meeting instead of having to spend a year or more figuring things out.

Read the full article:

Onboard Your Board

Many companies have onboarding programs for new employees where they familiarize the new employee with the business, team, culture, etc before they start working. But I have never come across a company (or institution for that matter) that does this for their board. I am sure it happens, but I have never encountered it.

I am working with a company right now that is putting a “board onboarding” program in place. It makes so much sense. How can you expect your board to give you the best advice and understand the business if you don’t help them do that?

So when you put someone new on your board, ask that person to spend a day or two at your company. Set up “one on ones” with your entire senior team, have them attend an all hands, have them sit in on the weekly management meeting, and spend some quality time with them (dinner?) during this process. That will help your new board members immensely. They will be “up to speed” on the business from the very first board meeting instead of having to spend a year or more figuring things out.

Managing a board is hard. It takes time and lots of communication. But you can make all of that a bit easier if you start off on the right foot.

 

Jeff Magnusson

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