I want to add strength to our board of directors. Where should I look?
Where are the best places to form these types of relationships?
We need a professionals within
- Sustainable financial development including social impact investment
- CSR/CSI (Corporate Social Responsibility/Innovation
- Global reach
- Sustainable business development including partnerships between NGO's and corporations
Put out a call through your network on LinkedIn and any industry or community groups you are active in, search on LinkedIn and industry groups for the expertise you desire, approach any likely candidates and just ask for their help!
Also, if there is a local SCORE group in your area, there are retired executives there who might be perfect for your needs.
Richard Stern-Suggest you look for professionals with experience in what you do.
Those people will understand not only what you do, bit be able to bring ideas that will enhance your business.
It depends on where your weak points are. It could be an attorney, an accountant, IT, etc. The first thing you need to do is to decide what will enhance the BOD. It is always best to cover all industries if you can. Check your membership to see if you already have access to any of these industries.
Besides what's already been said, it's worth pointing out that part of the goal of your board is to cover the bases you can't/shouldn't. In other words, don't pack your board with like-minded yes-men (or women).
Make sure your board has enough diversity that you don't fall into a collective tunnel-vision. You seem to be very focused on NFP/community-work experience, but it may be beneficial to find someone with commercial/private sector experience who has a personal interest in what you do.
You are starting what I'd call a heart-centered business, meaning one that is seeking to do well by doing good. This kind of business has a completely different energy from a business that is just seeking to maximize ROI for stockholders. There are 3 key points to consider when recruiting Board members for such a business:
(i) Are they aligned with the vision and values of your organization?
(ii) Are they open to being a mentor for you as you "bring up" this new business? (this will usually eliminate those with "taker" energy who would be in it for the prestige); and
(iii) Have they been associated with successful start-ups in the past? (as it's one thing to be an "expert", and quite a different energy to have participated in birthing and raising a successful start-up)
Using this template will help you find those with the generosity of spirit who will probably be able to refer you to others with the same kind of energy with the backgrounds you're looking for.
And one last thing, to attract the connections you need, you need to be that energy yourself (i.e. generosity of spirit), as we attract those who match our energy. Much success, Murray Ansell
Let me start by asking what are you seeking from these board members? Guidance, exposure, market penetration? Once that question is answered, what is the construct of the current board? What is it doing and what is it unable to do? Perhaps you have already answered these questions but if not they and others should first be addressed.
I don't think "where" you look is as important as what you are looking for. I would write a "gap report" and identify the missing characteristics/experiences that would add to the board. Understand why those traits/members add value. Then the where you look will be replaced by the what/who you are looking for.
As others has mentioned, you would want to begin looking for people with good knowledge and skill set in your area of business. You can find this person often on a playform as LinkedIn. But another area to check would be with comapnies in your area of business. Some of these companies will often have individuals who are willing to help or join a board if the other comapny is not seen as a threat to their own business.
Look to someone who is considered an expert in a related field. He or she may have insight to similar challenges that your company faces. Speak with your CPA. They may have clients that fit your need. or know someone who serves on other boards and therefore experienced.
How about reverse mentoring!! There are chances that you already have existing departments that perform these function. Get the best people from those departments to impart their knowledge onto your board.