Earlier this afternoon I attended the board meeting of a fast growing tech startup. Board meetings are a great time to step back and look at a business from a high-level perspective while working through what is, and isn’t, going well. After reflecting on today’s meeting, I had five takeaways:
- Forward Looking – It’s easy to talk about what just happened last quarter because it’s fresh on the mind. While it’s important to review, most of the time should be spent forward looking.
- Strategy, not Tactics – Similar to reviewing what happened, it’s critical to spend the majority of the meeting on the strategic aspects of the business and not tactical, day-to-day elements (whenever possible).
- People, People, People – As much as we technologists like to think it’s all about the latest releases, the reality is that 95%+ of what makes a startup successful is the people element. Board meetings are no different in that a significant amount of time is related to the people component.
- Mission, Vision, and Values – Just like mission, vision, and values need to be reviewed constantly with team members, so too do they need to be reviewed at every board meeting. Everyone needs to buy in to them and know them by heart.
- Plan It, Do It, and Review It – One important aspect of a board is to review the plan, follow the progress, and review the results. Put another way, the board needs to provide accountability. The management team needs to lay out what they’re going to accomplish and then provide updates on their progress against that plan. Finally, the board needs to ask the hard questions.
Board meetings are an important part of the entrepreneurial journey and should help entrepreneurs achieve their goals.
What else? What are some other takeaways from board meetings?