New Board Guide – The Complex CEO-Chairman Relationship

By |2021-08-12T09:28:14+01:00August 3rd, 2021|The Board - Theory and Practice, The CEO/Founder, The Chairman, NEDs, Capital Providers, Short Articles|

The Fourth Short Guide to Key Aspects of the Unlisted Board is now out! A good Chairman was appreciated as a real asset by every interviewee that had one. There are plenty of formal definitions of the role of the Chairman. However templates, no matter how worthy, are always cookie-cutter. Size, stage, phase, type of company, sector, personalities, country will mean that for the far-less-systematised unlisted Board no single recipe will be The Answer. The realpolitik of the Boardroom is that it is all ultimately about who has power or in other terms control. Somewhere along the journey from NewCo

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

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 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

The Sole-Trader, Indie, Micro-Business Doesn’t Need A Board. But What Does It Need?

By |2021-07-23T11:59:28+01:00October 2nd, 2020|The Board - Theory and Practice, Short Articles|

Of the millions of small businesses in the UK the vast majority are not “businesses” per se but “company-wrappers” for individuals, sole-traders - be it butchers, bakers, candle-stick-makers or modern “consultants” - where in effect over a couple of decades MegaCos have got round the complex employment benefits and protection rights by reducing staff and then hiring countless “consultants” who don’t benefit from the many hard-won rights like sick-pay, holiday-pay and so forth. These “companies” are of course legal companies - the MegaCos won’t deal with people amongst other things due to this desire to keep away from employment

A Short Overview of Business and Regulation 4,000 Years Ago

By |2021-07-23T12:00:14+01:00September 17th, 2020|Company Governance History, Regulation Then and Now, Short Articles, Realpolitik Extracts|

The origins of business as we know it are deep as is the regulation that always surrounded business (though in successful societies never smothered it as it is beginning to do today). Two short extracts from Realpolitik, where the topic is covered in more depth on the ancient history of business and the jelly mould - regulation (today internal = Board, external = zillion regulators) - that shapes it."The earliest surviving written records of any sort are cuneiform tablets from Mesopotamia ~3200BC by which time civilisations had demonstrably existed in that area for some two thousand years. Tablets were predominantly

Startup and ScaleUp Boards Are CEO-centric Not Chairman-centric

By |2021-07-23T12:00:42+01:00September 4th, 2020|The Board - Theory and Practice, The CEO/Founder, The Chairman, Short Articles, Realpolitik Extracts|

Extract from Chapter 1 of Realpolitik “Eight Essential Aspects Of Small Company Boards” Essence 6 – SmallCo Boards Are CEO-centric Not Chairman-centric  A further substantive difference between SmallCo and BigCo Boards is that SmallCos are founder/CEO-centric whereas BigCo Boards are Chairman-centric. BigCos easily survive changes of CEO, however, until they have quite some momentum, SmallCos do not readily survive the departure of the founder. Power in BigCo ultimately rests with the Chairman, whereas in a SmallCo, for quite some time it is with the founder. This is for two reasons. Firstly, on day one, the NewCo founder has 100% control – it is

Children Are Not Small Adults – The SmallCo Board Is Not A Small BigCo Board

By |2021-07-23T12:00:57+01:00August 21st, 2020|The Board - Theory and Practice, Short Articles, Realpolitik Extracts|

Extract from Chapter 1 of Realpolitik “Eight Essential Aspects Of Small Company Boards” Essence 2 – The SmallCo Board Is Not A Small BigCo Board That Companies change over time is so apparent that it barely merits mentioning. However, its corollary – that the Board needs actively managing – can all too often be neglected. At inception when the Muse drops an idea into your mind you are the show of course. For substantive ideas you will need to build a team below you and a Board around you to help you nurture your tiny infant and grow it into a safe strong adult. SmallCo and BigCo

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