Thursday, May 7, 2020

After The Lockdown

Preparation can give a competitive advantage.

As we begin planning an exit from this lockdown, there needs to be a plan created without panic. As a family business leader, being either extremely optimistic or extremely pessimistic may put us at risk. There will be opportunity for those that develop a good foundation, have a good foundation, or are building a strong foundation for the business. Strong systems and processes with clearly articulated values and principles will help guide your team through these rough waters.

In a survey by Statistics Canada, private companies with Advisory Boards, particularly ones with non-family members, produced significantly better results after instituting the Advisory Board than before. The study found sales growth increased three-fold in the three years following the introduction of the advisory board compared to the three years prior to instituting the advisory board, and productivity rose an average of 5.9% compared with 3.2% in the previous three-year period.

One tool to help guide the family business after the lockdown can be their Board or Advisory Board, or Advisors. Outside Advisors are a powerful tool to help business families build their legacies, grow ROI, increase innovation, form new networks, and develop key strategic initiatives. 

During times of uncertainty, expertise, support, and unbiased in-put when you’re facing big decisions becomes a necessity. Outside Advisors will provide counsel, advice, knowledge, skills, and abilities that typically go beyond the organization’s management team. Advisory Boards are an informal brain trust to help think through the investments, innovation, staffing needs, and plans. Non-family advisors must challenge the family’s assumptions, which often remain unquestioned in times of crisis. This can prevent decisions from being made as a result of the herd mentality. The non-family advisors can also provide the ‘safe space’ for the leaders to share their doubts, concerns, anger, anxiety, and insecurities.

An Advisory Board should always provide value to the family, the organization, and the leader of the family enterprises. Advisory Board members, who serve at the pleasure of the organization’s leadership, are selected for their experience, insight, wisdom, ability to ask the right questions, and ability to be a focused sounding board for the CEO. As a Family Business leader, this is essential to recover from a downturn.

Too often, growing, privately held companies get stuck and don’t take advantage of the invaluable resource Outside Advisors can be. An Advisory Board tailored to your business will help you lead for the future and build a healthy business.

Preparation will give a competitive advantage.

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