A board fosters this type of thinking which requires time and space to take a step back and consider all the issues.
Focus on strategic issues
As the company grows, the board must focus on the strategic issues, such as:
- industry trends
- new means to increase productivity
- technology breakthroughs
- new markets.
Working 'in' or working 'on' the business
Business owners often struggle to find the time to work ‘on’ the business, making the idea of a board to help deal with this area very attractive and a means to lessen the load. Having a board is first and foremost about understanding the big picture and should be filled with expert individuals who can read a map and plot a course while someone else drives.
Long-term view of the business
Keeping ahead of the day-to-day demands of a business often means making short-term decisions, rather than decisions that consider the future of the company. A board of directors takes a strategic, long-term view of the business.
Experienced directors will have lived through the life cycle of a company before, and will:
- understand the trials and tribulations involved
- know the potential growth paths for the company
- foresee and avoid business pitfalls
- give confidence to make good decisions.
Joining the dots and putting it all together
The essence of big picture thinking is the ability to synthesize data. This means:
- identifying the overarching patterns and themes in the world outside the business
- 'connect all the dots' to see strategic insights
- develop the right responses to grow the company.