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Take on Board breakfast recap, November 2015

Thanks everyone who joined the November 2015 Take on Board breakfast, in particular to the fabulous speakers Melissa Field and Cath Bowtell who spoke about start-up boards.

Women sit around three round tables listening to the three speakers standing at the front of the room at November 2017's Take on Board breakfast.

Key messages:

  • When do start-ups formalise their boards? Sometimes they are advisory boards; sometimes board of governance. Things to think about: family or friend connections; how the organisation will grow (e.g. adviser versus de facto director).
  • Pathways to start-up boards include ‘find and follow the talent’ and ‘follow the money’.
  • Is it for me? Consider reputational and risk alignment, values and whether you are Pinocchio or Bob the Builder!
  • Strategic rational – should be more than just ‘bigger is better’. Consider gaps in an organisation attributes/strengths/weaknesses and align accordingly. Consider ‘would our organisation win the business to do what we do if we were doing a tender?’.
  • Plan and ensure you also have the capacity to execute the plan.
  • Do your due diligence – double the costs; halve the benefits and triple the pay back period!
  • Develop a risk register and monitor it.
  • Be clear about the people side.
  • Have a plan to also maintain business as usual through the process.
  • Consider all alternatives – collaboration, affiliation, federation – any number of structures that can build scale.
  • Is self interest standing in the way of a merger? Including ‘benign self interest’?

 Feedback about the event:

  • Excellent work – a wonderful event.
  • Excellent speakers.
  • The speakers didn’t talk down to us.
  • Great speakers (this was the comment on quite a few feedback forms)
  • Interesting speakers.
  • Flowed well from speaker to speaker.
  • Frank and honest advice from the two speakers – very insightful.
  • Great speakers – lots to think about.
  • Well-chosen speakers – great contrast between start-ups and mergers.
  • Inspiring women – wow!
  • The speakers were brilliant.
  • Both speakers were practical and knowledgeable.
  • Inspiring and intelligent presenters.
  • Great speakers and fantastic topics.
  • Fantastic speakers with extensive experience.
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