entrepreneur

Does Your Board Need an Entrepreneur?

Board members tend to have lots of experience in at least one of these three areas: financial expertise, industry-specific knowledge, or operational management. Over the past couple of decades, though, companies have become more interested in diversifying their boardroom—both in race and gender as well as in expertise.

Today, you’ll find individuals with backgrounds in marketing, IT, and human resources in addition to the “classic” board member tracks.

The latest trend, however, is adding someone with an entrepreneurial background to your team of directors, and we’re big fans of this movement.

Here’s what an entrepreneur can bring to the table:

A focus on long-term, strategic thinking

Boards are constantly being pulled between short term goal-oriented oversight and long term, strategically focused planning. Entrepreneurs are generally going to default to strategic thinking and will help pull your board out of conversations that should be left to your company’s C-suite.
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shareholder activism

Shareholder Activism: What Board Members Need to Know

Shareholder activism plays a pivotal role in the evolution of corporate America’s public companies. In fact, the listed companies that shareholders targeted in
2013
“had an average market capitalization of $10 billion.”

That’s some serious power when it comes to influencing major corporations in the United States.

But what does shareholder activism really mean? To put it simply, shareholder activism occurs when an individual (or an entity) uses their equity stake in a corporation to put pressure on the company to make specific changes.
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company culture

Company Culture Starts With Corporate Governance

You’ve seen the headlines—“company culture” is one of the most-covered topics in business leadership over the past couple of years. You can read about why you shouldn’t just let your company culture happen.

You can explore “Why Corporate Culture Is Becoming More Important.” And, you can see how productive culture will boost your organization’s performance.

Before we launch into how company culture begins with the board, let’s define the term we’re using.

The Definition of Company Culture

According to Wikipedia, company culture (also referred to as organizational culture) “encompasses values and behaviors that contribute to the unique social and psychological environment of an organization…and includes the organization’s vision, values, norms, systems, symbols, language, assumptions, environment, location, beliefs, and habits.”

Yes, that’s a long definition! To simplify, culture is created through a blend of the practices, policies, and people that make up an organization.
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Directorpoint European expansion

Directorpoint Celebrates the Launch of a European Data Center

Big news from the Directorpoint team! This summer has seen our company reach several milestones.

New Directorpoint European Data Center

Directorpoint is thrilled to announce the opening of an official headquarters and data center in the UK. As our number of European clients has grown, we have actively pursued ways to improve their product experience.

The establishment of the data center, in particular, will allow clients in the European Union to experience significantly faster download and upload speeds while using our software. The Directorpoint team sees this European expansion as the next step for extending its international reach.

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corporate governance books

Top Five Corporate Governance Books

Are you looking to take a deeper dive into the world of corporate governance? We’ve put together a collection of books and reading suggestions for board directors.

Reading Suggestions for Board Directors

Dear Chairman

This fascinating read by hedge fund manager and adjunct professor at Columbia Business School, Jeff Gramm, digs deep into the ever-evolving relationship between corporate directors and shareholder activists.

“Gramm analyzes different eras and pivotal boardroom battles from the last century to understand the factors that have caused shareholders and management to collide. Throughout, he uses the letters to show how investors interact with directors and managers, how they think about their target companies, and how they plan to profit.”

Who should read? Public company and corporate directors as well as board members with an interest in the history of shareholder activism.
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Dealing With Unprepared Board Members

As with any group setting, when you bring a board of directors together, some members will be more prepared than others. Most directors will study reports in advance and be ready to share their input accordingly.

Others, however, may feel more inclined to coast through the meeting, glean what they can, and share opinionated statements on the spot.

These unprepared board members can occasionally create a difficult group dynamic.

The good news, though, is that there are steps your board can take towards encouraging (and even helping) members to adequately prepare.

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external auditor

What Is an External Auditor? (And Do Boards Need One?)

When it comes to reviewing a company’s financial status, every organization needs a good external auditor. Auditors look through in-depth accounting information in order to ensure that the reporting is a true representation of an organization’s financial position.

Auditors also assess things such as risk in order to help guide organizations to a healthier and more prosperous financial future.

Internal audits happen frequently within an organization. Companies utilize their own hired talent to review the work of others or the overall validity of the company’s financial reporting. As the Association of Certified Fraud Examiners explains it, “The internal audit function helps an organization accomplish its objectives by bringing a systematic, disciplined approach to evaluate and improve the effectiveness of risk management, control, and governance processes.

The scope of internal auditing is broad and may involve the efficiency of operations, IT controls, the reliability of financial reporting, deterring and detecting fraud, and compliance with laws and regulations.”
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corporate governance

What Does Good Corporate Governance Look Like?

It’s easy to talk about strengthening your board of directors, but how do you know when you’ve reached a high-functioning level of corporate governance?

In this day and age, building and maintaining a successful board means checking off many different boxes. As the role of the corporate director continues to expand and technology keeps leaping forward, board members should take the time to reflect on their impact as individuals and as a group.

Here are some signs that your board is thriving:

Directors have a firm understanding of their responsibilities

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