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 entrepreneurs 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. Entrepreneurs are the true “visionaries” of the business world and offer a complementary element to boards that already favor members who are well-versed in risk management or short term, operational guidance. This isn’t to say that entrepreneurs will always be right about their theories or suggestions, but their presence alone will force more conservative members to tackle some out-of-the-box thinking.