Series Volume 4: Why Build an Effective Board For Your Company?

NOV 1, 2016

by Mark A. Pfister, CEO Integral Board Group

Our ongoing series 'Why Build an Effective Board For Your Company?' continues! Today we focus on important Topic #4: Evaluating Your Company's Values, Vision and Mission.

First, it is important to understand the meaning and importance of each of these areas for your company:
  • Values: Guiding principles that dictate behavior and action of your employees, team members and even your vendors. Are people in your company results-focused? Do they communicate effectively and efficiently? You likely have an ideal team member predisposition that exemplifies your company and resonates with your clients. Have you built an environment that fosters who you and your employees strive to be? Values statement examples include:
    • "Collaboration: We obtain the perspective of others and share our own to achieve outstanding results"
    • "Feedback & Development: We ask for and provide appropriate and constructive feedback to further develop ourselves and others"
  • Vision: Outlines what a company wants to be, or enable, in the future. Have you created the vision of your successful point of arrival (POA)? Does everyone in your company know where they are headed and why it is important? A simple example of an effective Vision statement for a technology company includes:
    • "A country where every citizen has unfettered internet access"
  • Mission: Describes what a company wants to do now. Is your mission something that everyone in your company feels compelled to rally behind? Does it clearly state what your current business actions and daily corporate life support? A clear mission statement example, again for the same example technology company, includes:
    • "Our company's mission is to provide affordable and readily-available internet solutions to underprivileged communities improving their quality of life"
So, what does all of this have to do with building an effective board?

I have found that effective board members are attracted to companies with meaningful values, a strong vision and a resonating mission statement. And once in place on the board, these same board members become the guide and governance of these 3 important facets of your company. It is very easy for a new client, a large contract or even a slow revenue quarter to divert you from your company's foundational values, vision and mission underpinnings - an effective board allows for the important parallel paths of operations and strategic focus to both thrive, regardless of outside diverting forces.

What will you consider when building or evaluating your Board?

Continue to watch for our ongoing series on the important focus areas you need to be thinking about in order to build an effective board for your company. Also, see the previous newsletters focusing on Topic #1: 'Why Create Your Board?', Topic #2: 'When to Create Your Board?' and Topic #3: 'What Makes a Great Board?'