The Role of Boards

Boards play an integral role in how the organisation or company they oversee achieves success. In the big picture, boards affect the success of our economy as a whole. Boards strive to ensure the prosperity of their company, and at the same time, work to meet the needs of their shareholders and other stakeholders.

Most companies experience times of critical development, such as undergoing the implementation of new technologies. If their board comprises members from diverse backgrounds, they are more capable of efficiently representing their organisation and of understanding the customers they wish to attract.

With this in mind, Bottom Line has developed BoardDirect – a program designed specifically to address the need to create effective boards comprising members whose skills base best suits their company or organisation.

BoardDirect caters for both sides of the board equation – for companies wishing to establish highly effective boards, and for individuals who wish to further their careers and broaden their executive experience by becoming board members.

The BoardDirect program is also ideal for organisations seeking to appoint board members.

Directors and Advisory Board Appointments

Bottom Line’s BoardDirect program has a core group of highly experienced, skilled and qualified Board Directors and Advisors who are available for appointment. You may wish to appoint a group of three Non Executive Directors with varying skills and experiences to establish your board, or one Director with specific skills. Flexible remuneration conditions relate to these appointments.

There can be no doubt that the right advisor or director can make a real difference to your business, but how do you decide whether to establish a Board of Directors, Board of Advisors, or both?

Whether you establish a Board of Directors or Advisors depends on the age and dynamics of your business. For a start-up or very early stage business, a Board of Advisors would be most beneficial, because it allows the founders of the company to retain control while gaining valuable experience to help grow the business. As your business matures and looks at taking on investment, you may need to look towards a full Board of Directors to give the investment market confidence in your company.

Key points:

Board of Directors (made up of people other than the founders)

  • Generally at a later stage of company development or when growth is dramatic
  • Generally required of outside investors
  • Members are expected to contribute 5-10 hours per month
  • Accept some financial and legal risks.

Board of Advisors

  • Generally at the earliest stages of company development
  • Members are expected to contribute 2-3 hours per month
  • Low to no financial or legal risk

Once you have decided where you are as a company, and which type of board is your best starting point, you need to determine the skills your organisation requires. When you have identified your greatest needs, how do you go about finding these people? Ask friends or business associates? Ask your accountant or lawyer? Maybe…

The most effective method is to:

  • Locate a number of people who have been screened and profiled
  • Engage the right people
  • Make an offer
  • Determine compensation
  • Understand governance and the legal requirements
  • Set up expectations.

Why BoardDirect?

Too many Directors are still recruited by informal, word of mouth processes. As a result, company boards lack the diversity they need for success, particularly with respect to age, gender, ethnicity and skills’ base.

Greater diversity means that organisations represent – and better understand – the customers they want to attract, leading to improved competitiveness and productivity. A more diverse board also means a greater variety of skills and opinions on the board.

BoardDirect is an effective vehicle for organisations seeking to appoint Directors with various skills, backgrounds and experiences.

BoardDirect can assist you to achieve all of these outcomes. For further information, please contact Bottom Line.