A Board of Directors has three big goals.
One of my favorite reference books is Brad Feld’s Startup Boards.
In it, the job and responsibilities of a board are clearly articulated.
Including general responsibilities, including:
- Helping organize a CEO’s thinking
- Match patterns
- See the forest for the trees
- Drive intellectually honest discussion and debate
- Create a forcing function for deadlines and quality
- Support transactional activity
The theme being accountability.
However, the board – in for-profit companies – is really accountable to the shareholders. So, they are there to support the CEO through accountability. Yet they are also there to hold the company accountable to its shareholders.
To balance that, the job description can be distilled to three items:
- Hire, evaluate, and fire the CEO
- Develop policies and procedures to support the CEO and the company
- Monitor economics, governance, and control
And this balance between the CEO (and her vision) and the shareholders is important in helping meet the company’s overall mission.
Now go spark that revolution.