How To Get The Most Out Of Your Board

Your board of directors is working for you 24 hours a day. From a company standpoint, making the most of the board as a resource means knowing what questions to ask and when to ask them – and leveraging the board often, not just during quarterly meetings.

In this episode of How To Launch, Goldman Sachs investors Olga Kaplan and David Campbell share advice on how to get the most out of your board. 

More Tips for Getting The Most Out of Your Board

1. The Network Effect

Your LinkedIn network just got a lot bigger. Board members’ connections are now your connections, and that network is going to be critical as your company scales. Be sure to keep your board members in the loop on essential hiring needs so they can be out there making introductions on your behalf. For example, some of the best hires at Goldman Sachs portfolio companies come through board members. 

2. Capital Structure Experts

Your directors are master builders. When it comes to capital, they can help answer questions about when to start fundraising and even what kind of capital to seek out. They’ve been there time and time again, and their perspectives can make all the difference in determining the right capital structure for your business.

3. Boards Know Banks

When it comes time to work with a financial institution, your board’s relationships and previous experience can help inform which firm is the right partner to keep your business running smoothly.

4. Guardians of the Cap Table

A new funding round is a major milestone, but it might not mean the same thing for you as your earlier investors. Your board can help you understand how best to navigate the liquidity needs of your investors, including ensuring a clean cap table going forward, as well as a positive experience for investors, who may come in handy later on.

5. A Buyer’s Best Friend

You are an expert in your business – investing for growth, hiring fits for the culture, and securing fruitful partnerships. Now, you feel like you’re ready to make a strategic acquisition. How should you think about integrating that company’s processes and culture into the one you’ve worked tirelessly to build? And what’s the right price? Helping CEOs navigate timing and negotiation strategy with potential acquirers is core to the role of a corporate board. Seek their perspectives early and lean on their experience.

6. Be Open to Feedback

A good director gives tough feedback. It’s in the best interest of the company to be transparent, escalate issues and explain the thinking behind key strategic decisions. That can help your board provide the objective advice you need to sleep soundly.