Capital Providers – “Can’t live with them, can’t live without them?”

By |2021-08-12T14:31:40+01:00August 26th, 2021|The CEO/Founder, The Chairman, Capital Providers, Longer Articles, Realpolitik Extracts|

<Extract from Chapter 8 of Realpolitik “Capital Providers”> So there you are, minding your own business (sic) when one day you decide that some more dough would help. At which point, in all likelihood, you’ve addicted yourself to a drug and with the highs come the lows. One shot will not be enough and will leave you wanting ever more.In this context, and back to the days of Timothy Leary and LSD, the “set and setting” makes a huge difference. What your mindset was and is and the circumstances in which you start this part of the journey are key

A Super-Valuable Board Book – “Directors’ Dilemmas” Patrick Dunne (270pp, 2000)

By |2021-08-12T14:07:23+01:00August 19th, 2021|The Board - Theory and Practice, The CEO/Founder, The Chairman, NEDs, Capital Providers, Fixing Broken Boards, Company Governance History, Book Reviews, Longer Articles|

This book is a must-buy second hand guide for any serious Chairmen, CEOs, Founders, NEDs or Investment Directors. The various editions are now out of print but it’s a steal at less than £5 second-hand right now (eg Amazon or AbeBooks). Different editions are variously subtitled “Tips and Techniques for Dealing with Day-to-day Problems” or “Tales from the frontline” both of which are equally descriptive. Patrick Dunne was at the time Group Communications Director at 3i, then Europe's leading venture capital company and wrote three Board books over a decade (interestingly after a gap of over a decade in 2019

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

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

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