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So far The Unlisted Board has created 21 blog entries.

The Loneliness Of The Long Distance CEO

By |2021-07-23T11:57:53+01:00July 23rd, 2021|The CEO/Founder, Short Articles, Realpolitik Extracts|

<Extract from Chapter 5 of Realpolitik “The CEO/Founder”> “For a sole founder in particular it can be a very lonely journey” It is a tough gig being a founder. A US stat I was told was that the average founder has failed four times before. This introduces the need for such folks to have their own support mechanism around them outside of any individual companies (which may come and go) to help them pick themselves back up off the floor. As we shall see, NEDs have differing emphases on “supporting” vs “challenging” CEOs at the Board. However in the early

Book Review: “Business Angel Investing” Richard Hargreaves – 5/5*

By |2021-07-23T11:56:54+01:00July 16th, 2021|Capital Providers, Book Reviews, Short Articles|

"Angel-investing" - the provision of private equity finance by private individuals - is essential to small businesses the world round. In the UK it is the principal source of equity raises in the £1-2m sector. In the US virtually every MegaTech company one has heard of started with Angel financing. Thus this is an essential topic to know about not just for Angels but also for entrepreneurs who, the better they understand the Angels world, the better able they will be to raise finance from them. Richard's experience is unique in terms of having continuously been involved in unquoted investment

Learning From Boardroom Battles – Pistols At Dawn in Calcutta, 1780

By |2021-07-23T11:57:29+01:00July 9th, 2021|Fixing Broken Boards, Company Governance History, Longer Articles|

Boardrooms notoriously, if unsuspectingly for the naive, can become Cauldrons Of Emotion. Power, betrayal, plotting and deceit can become the order of the day. But it’s probably been a while since they were resolved by pistols at dawn… In the late 18thC there was a long-running saga involving Board conflict between the East India Company’s perhaps best-ever Governor General in India, Warren Hastings, and a State appointee to a newly-formed “Board of Control”, Sir Philip Francis. This was a classic example where Board frictions superficially arise from personality differences. However as in many such cases there are underlying organisational issues

The Uncultured Board

By |2021-07-23T11:57:45+01:00November 19th, 2020|Fixing Broken Boards, Short Articles, Realpolitik Extracts|

[Extract from Chapter 9 of Realpolitik "Fixing Broken Boards] “My hot tip? Mentor the Board – ensure that everyone is on the same page.” [Experienced CEO/entrepreneur] Only in the later stages of growth with an IPO in mind does the whole There Is Only One True Path For Your Board thing start impacting your poetry. Before that you have freedom. Use it while it lasts! Have a clear vision of the type of Board culture you are trying to create. If your fairy Godmother appeared now and offered three wishes for your Board what would they be? What culture do you want? What

The “Fish Rots From The Head Down” Board

By |2021-07-23T11:58:09+01:00November 12th, 2020|Fixing Broken Boards, Longer Articles, Realpolitik Extracts|

[Extract from Chapter 9 of Realpolitik "Fixing Broken Boards] Whatever your Board challenge your Chairman is likely to be the first port of call – after all apart from “it [the Board] is his job” he really should have vastly more experience of Boards than you. As a founder/CEO in a sense you’d like to delegate a lot of the Board functioning to the Chairman in the same way you’d like to delegate Marketing to a CMO. You want to retain involvement in input in both but you would really rather someone more experienced and better at it than you did all the heavy lifting

The Entrepreneurial Board – Poetry Regardless Of Metre (LLPs, LLCs, Corporations, Ltds, PLCs et al)

By |2021-07-23T11:58:25+01:00November 5th, 2020|The Board - Theory and Practice, Short Articles|

As I noted in a prior blog: “You an have LLCs or Corporations, Listed and Unlisteds, Limited Liabilities and Partnerships, Limited Liability Partnerships. In France a quick Google tells me you can have SARLs, EURLs, SELARLs, SAs, SASs, SNCs. The list goes on and on. Spend too much time looking at it and you start thinking that maybe it's time for the Good Lord to send a new flood and wipe the slate clean so we can start over.” Of course that was a simplification as even in the US laws/rules vary from state to state as to exactly

Business Regulation in 1000AD

By |2021-07-23T11:58:45+01:00October 29th, 2020|Company Governance History, Regulation Then and Now, Short Articles, Realpolitik Extracts|

In previous posts we have looked at how Business Regulation worked 4,000 years ago and how the first English Companies were governed nigh on 500 years ago. This week we land in the middle with a look at how business regulation worked a thousand years ago. Mind you even recent copies of the core text will cost you £198 right now. So maybe a peep will be good enough? Note the simplicity and clarity of both regulation and punishment - something that we have totally lost in the 21stC - as a consequence of which much human activity that

If You Didn’t Have Board Meetings Then, Apart From Not Being Part Of A Chain Gang, What Two Key Things Would You Miss Out On?

By |2021-07-23T11:58:56+01:00October 22nd, 2020|The Board - Theory and Practice, Longer Articles|

The legal aspects of Boards differ from country to country and in some cases from State to State. There are LLCs and Corporations, Listed and Unlisteds, Limited Liabilities and Partnerships or indeed Limited Liability Partnerships. In France a quick Google tells me you can have SARLs, EURLs, SELARLs, SAs, SASs, SNCs. The list goes on and on. Spend too much time looking at it and you start wondering whether it isn't maybe time for the Good Lord to send a flood and wipe the slate clean again so we can start over. It would certainly provide a different answer to

You Never Buy “A Fruit” So Never Hire “A NED”

By |2021-07-23T11:59:05+01:00October 15th, 2020|NEDs, Longer Articles, Realpolitik Extracts|

You never buy "a fruit" so never hire "a NED". The Engine of Growth Board will be designed to complement the skill set of the executive team, to fill in gaps. This can be a challenge in itself if you have a super-controlling VC who sees the Board as a mere vehicle for them to maximise their control and not actually to improve the Company. But that's a separate topic for another day - the simple summary being that VCs don't just come "with money" but as "a package" and you need to be savvy enough to compare packages, or

The IPO-Ready Board: When Two Tribes Go To War

By |2021-07-23T11:59:15+01:00October 9th, 2020|The Board - Theory and Practice, Longer Articles, Realpolitik Extracts|

The cultural transformation of the Board from an Unlisted Board to a Listable Board is one of the more painful phase shifts a successful founder has to undergo. The successful founder will have hand-crafted a Board that, yes, does the Corporate Control Thing, but one which is rooted in the vital Corporate Creativity mentality. As we saw Prometheus and the Muses are essential to inspire and to create something that never existed before - an extraordinary metaphysical achievement possible only for Gods and Man. This commercial value-add-centric Board vibe will, in all likelihood, suffer the fate of  a Canadian seal

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