| Having started his company three years ago, an entrepreneurial founder decided it was time to create a board of directors. He had heard of the “ask your friends” approach, but he was more inclined to assemble a board of independent directors who could give him quality advice because of their own backgrounds, experiences, and expertise. How to go about it? Working with the founder, The SK Group first conducted a needs assessment to determine the types of board seats that would add value; for example, individuals with backgrounds in finance, marketing/sales, or technology. After developing with the founder a board operating structure, including board member duties and responsibilities, three to five candidates per board seat were presented. Ultimately, the founder selected four strong candidates to join his board. Today, the company continues to exceed its strategic growth objectives with the board playing a critical role in the company’s successes.|
Many highly talented, experienced individuals want to serve on corporate, association, or non-profit boards of directors. They have no idea how to position themselves to sit on boards. Working with the
SK Group, the president of a high tech company felt that she had reached that point in her life and career where she now could also help other entrepreneurial companies grow. The SK Group worked with her to develop a package of marketing tools, a long term plan for board service, and a marketing plan to promote herself as a valuable board candidate. Through effective use of her marketing plan, the president was tapped to join her first board of directors. As a result of her current board service, she was asked to join an another board to provide the new company with both her entrepreneurial and technical expertise.
"Having a well trained board of qualified directors is the key to a company's long term success." -Stanley Krejci, Founding Principal, The SK Group, LLC
The SK Group provides three board-related programs, working with those on both sides of the boardroom table. Here’s a summary of those three facets of our consulting services:
- Working with executives, one on one, to assess board opportunities and develop a strategic marketing plan in order to solicit board invitations,
- Helping founders and CEOs of new entrepreneurial companies evaluate the need for either an advisory or voting board, explore the most effective ways to use such a board, and recruit prospective board members,
- Providing board training for existing as well as newly established boards and teaching board members how to work together effectively to achieve the company’s strategic goals.
Personalized, Self-Assessment Programs for Potential New Board Members
Are you eager to share your professional experience and expertise by serving on the board of directors of a company or association, but don’t know how to promote yourself?
The SK Group has designed a program to help executives define what expertise and value they would bring to the boardroom and to create the marketing tools and plan that would lead you to a position on a board.
To prepare you for service on a board of directors, our multi-faceted, personalized approach takes you through these four self-assessment exercises:
1. Assessing your background in relation to the duties and responsibilities of board service, including these topics:
- Due diligence,
- Legal liability,
- Corporate finance and accounting practices,
- Corporate expectations,
- Relations between the CEO and board members as well as between board members.
- An all-important biography,
- A carefully honed, up-to-date resume,
- A strategy paper focusing on the benefit your An all-strengths would bring to a board,
- An articulate, compelling ‘elevator’ speech summarizing your interest and qualifications for board service.
- How the annual revenue of companies from small to Fortune 500 companies impacts board members’ responsibilities,
- The demands of board membership for public versus private companies,
- The distinction between serving on advisory and/or voting boards for new, entrepreneurial versus well-established companies.
- Fine-tuned techniques for successfully promoting yourself,
- Lists of the best companies and individuals for you to contact,
- Tips on the networking skills required to reach the right people, to make them aware of your interest to serve on a board and the contribution you would make on behalf of their company.
Building a Corporate Board
As the founder and/or CEO of a growing business, you may have thought about creating a board of directors for your firm, but are at a loss as to how to go about building the board.
The SK Group has developed a program that assists founders/CEOs analyze the value of a board, how to build it, how to find the right board members to serve on their board, and how to most effectively utilize those board members to help their company achieve its strategic growth
To help you build your board, The SK Group will work with you to address the following issues:
- Purpose of the board,
- The difference between an advisory and voting board of directors and the pros and cons of each,
- Who should serve on your board, including a needs assessment to determine the backgrounds, expertise, and experience your board members should have,
- The size of your board,
- The roles of the Founder, Chairperson, and the board members,
- The roles of your outside advisors (audit firm, lawyer) in relationship to the board,
- The impact of your outside investors on your board,
- What committees your board should have and what the functions of those committees.
Training the Board
One of the critical aspects often overlooked is how prepared the board members collectively and
individually are to work effectively together with the board chair and with each other on
behalf of the company to achieve its strategic growth objectives.
The SK Group provides on-site training for the board chair individually, and then collectively
with the board members to ensure that the board understands the expectations of management as well as what their collective duties and responsibilities are.
Organizational and structural issues will be reviewed, including board planning, the development of the board book, the board meeting agenda, board meeting schedules, as well as board and committee meeting conduct. A review of the purposes of the board, of whether a board is strategic or tactical in its work, and the relationship between the outside investors and the board will be included as an integral part of the board training program.
Board training will be conducted prior to the first meeting of a newly constituted board and
includes a follow-up assessment and training session mid-year and during the annual off-site
strategic planning meeting. Companies with existing boards that are welcoming new board
members as a part of their board rotation may want to have a refresher training session to ensure that the new board members are fully integrated into the board’s operating style to ensure that they are aware of what their duties and responsibilities as boards members are to the company and each other.
The SK Group offers a variety of consulting packages to prospective board members, to those who have board experience but are seeking additional opportunities, and to corporations that want to build boards or enhance the value of their existing boards.
Individualized programs can be arranged on an ‘as needed’ basis or on retainer.