Building a Stellar Board for Your Business…


Recently, one of the leading think tanks conducted an intensive survey and discovered that the top five corporate risks are HIPPA connected. These concern areas include Cyber, Culture, Privacy/Identity, Information/Technology, and Crises Response Process. Navigating this dangerous terrain requires that your C-Suite and your Board work in concert, which is why building a stellar board or Advisory Board is essential to your organization. 

I have experienced this through three decades of hands-on work within organizations and boards, from the private entrepreneurial level to Fortune 100 Firms and military Generals. I’ve documented my findings in my fourth graduate-level management text, a best practice doctrine called The Managerial Leadership Bible.

I have a different take than the prevailing best minds and think tanks on this topic are espousing. My observations explain why we have seen (and continue to see) implosions over the past three decades and will help you avoid a similar fate for your organization.

Consider these strategic imperatives for the architecture of a stellar BOARD of excellence and governance:

eForce vs. cForce. This concept explains how and why individuals behave and think the way they do. This sets the tone at the top and drives how you manage risk. It ensures compliance and performance standards are maintained and met, lies as the baseline of conduct and operational ethics and codes of compliance, and drives appropriate policies and procedures. In addition, it establishes the ongoing education initiatives and platforms necessary to be able to serve.

The first application of the eForce v cForce model is monitoring. Every position within a Board or Organization is either an Entrepreneurial (eForce) or a Control (cForce) position. Take a moment and create a general organizational diagram or organizational chart for your business. Now determine which positions are Entrepreneurial (eForce) and which are Control (cForce)?

The second application of the eForce v. cForce model has to do with the person filling the position. Every person within a Board or Organization is either an Entrepreneurial (eForce) or a Control (cForce) person but may be filling a role that requires them to be the other.

Now that you’ve created a general organizational diagram or organizational chart take a look at the person you’ve got in each position. What is their dominant persona? Are they an Entrepreneurial (eForce) or a Control (cForce)?

Can you imagine the trauma caused by having an ePerson in a cPosition/cForce? Or vice versa? When you evaluate positional implosions within organizations or major organizational implosions through this lens, you can better understand how and why it happened.

True accountability and success occur when you have the right persona in the right position or a control system to hold a person accountable to performance requirements.

C-Suite connectivity is very simple, yet missed more often than not. There should always be a direct or dotted line influence from each C-Suite position to a specific member of your Board. You will experience a greater level of connectivity, leveraged intellectual assets, and networks if you have a similar persona in each pairing. This creates a force multiplier for understanding, coordination, accountability, and better governance in any large marketplace business. This does not change the architecture for a small or start-up enterprise in the same way as an established, mature, large business or organization.

The inception, survival, sustainment, and thriving capacity of an individual or organization come down to 5-Core Factors that the key stakeholders at or above the C-Suite must design and own:

  1. Strategic Intent/Strategy is derived from one’s values and vision and drives mission statements and your organization’s direction. This communicates what your organization is today and what you want it to be tomorrow. Your strategic intent drives every action, decision, and initiative. It guides the culture, climate, and environment on a personal level and organizational level. It also serves as a benchmark for your growth.
  2. Operational Systems processes, protocols, compliance, monitoring, metrics, systems, software/hardware deliverables, and procedures all are borne out of Strategic Intent/ Strategy and must allow for effective execution.
  3. Tactical Behaviors exhibited by established standards of ethics, expected or tolerated performance activities, fiduciary responsibilities by each person comes from and support the first two core factors. The detailed work product and frequency of said product are dictated here.
  4. Discipline to execute to or above expected performance standards is a significant differentiator among achievers and those who fail. In addition, the ability to build buy-in, ownership, passion, and commitment to embrace and seamlessly achieve the output regularly is a human capital and technology endeavor.
  5. Accountability, whether self, peer-driven, organizational, system, performance standards, customer, etc., must be self-generating at this level.

Advisory Boards should also serve as your Human Capital Talent GPS on steroids to be relevant in the marketplace of tomorrow. I believe that all business will come down to two variables, Human Capital and Financial Capital. The organization that grasps, manages, and owns this will prevail under any circumstances!

Building a stellar Board or Advisory Board for your organization is essential to navigating this terrain. It also requires an objective ability to assess human capital now and in the future (as discussed via the Player Capability Index™ Model in The Managerial Leadership Bible and, and that every person within your organization understand and have buy-in to your GPS/Mission Statements. A person must add value to your organization or be held accountable by your Board Members!

Written by Dr. Jeffrey Magee.

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