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 what one can do with LLPs, LLCs et al.

The problem with founding a business is that at some point you have to have a legal format for a whole bunch of reasons – tax, dealing with other businesses, allocation of ownership rights and privileges (eg differing levels of limited liability protection) and all that jazz.

For the unwary and inexperienced first-time founder this is a part of a slippery slope to a bureaucratic legal-centric Board. At the other end of the business spectrum – the largest listed companies in the world – few are CEO-ed by the company’s founder instead being CEO-ed by a professional CEO who may never have worked in a real growth/entrepreneurial business and instead will be entirely conditioned by a world of rules and regulations.

Rules and regulations have proliferated like wild fire ever since the introduction of the computer. Well that and lots of lawyers and accountants who profit from never-ending increases in complexity. Add to this “regulators” (over 700 in the UK alone) and it all amounts to a huge tax on creativity and business – the key microeconomic reason that “the West” has seen “sub-par economic growth for some decades. Too many people are focused on rules and regs and not creating something new in the world.

In Realpolitik I cover eight types of “Broken Board” for unlisted companies. One is the “mini BigCo Board” overly-obsessed with rules and regs. As a Founder said to me:

“Our Chairman had to go. He was too focused on the processes, formalities and paperwork of the Board and not enough on growing the business.”

So how do you avoid warping yourself and your Board (or whatever name the management forum is given in whatever format you happen to have chosen)?

There is a simple answer to this question – but simple in the way that riding a bike is simple when you can do it without ever falling off.

You need to have an entrepreneurial Board. Without an entrepreneurial Board you cannot have an entrepreneurial business – or rather you can’t maximise the potential your idea/business has as you are missing out on having folks with superior skill sets/experience/contacts helping you and your business get better and better.

So the simple answer – back to the title is that regardless of metre – rhyming couplets, iambic hexameters, iambic pentameters, whatever – you need to produce poetry.

You need to do the entrepreneurial Board thing regardless of your legal format. In some formats (the listed Company springs to mind) this is being made harder and harder by the States ever-more complex “metres” which based on everything I hear are all but crowding-out real poetry. But poetry can be constrained well before you have MegaCo Board challenges – you can have unhelpful Board Members who simply don’t get poetry, who don’t sufficiently add to your need for entrepreneurial Boards. In either of these cases – MegaCo or constrained UnlistedCo the workaround is to have an “Advisory” Board – a misnomer as it’s not a Board and in unlisteds they are more generally like a list of the Founder’s chums and advisers who often never meet as a whole.

So – long story short – regardless of country, state, legal format, regulations – write your poetry. Be entrepreneurial and have strategic level input and support for your business from people you respect who are committed to making you and your business ever-more successful. And if they do that they are worth far more to you and the business than the few shekels you pay them. And if they don’t? Get some new ones.