In the world of private business, it can be easy to get stuck in a rut.
Entrepreneurs and business owners often pour their hearts and souls into their companies, developing deep and personal relationships with their businesses. While this level of dedication is admirable, it can also lead to an insular perspective that is resistant to change. This is why fresh perspectives are so valuable in a private business, particularly one that has no outside input. One way to gain fresh perspectives is through the addition of non-executive directors to a business.
Non-executive directors are individuals who are not employees of a company but who sit on the board of directors. They are typically chosen for their expertise in a particular area or industry, and they provide an objective viewpoint that can help a business owner see things from a different angle. These individuals can bring a wealth of experience and knowledge to the table, and they can provide valuable guidance and advice to a business owner who may be too close to the business to see things clearly.
One of the most significant advantages of non-executive directors is that they can provide a level of objectivity that is difficult to achieve from within a company. Business owners and executives are often so invested in the day-to-day operations of a business that they can struggle to see the bigger picture. Non-executive directors on the other hand, can bring a fresh perspective that is not clouded by emotional attachment or personal biases. They can provide an unbiased opinion on key issues, and they can help a business owner make decisions that are in the best interests of the company as a whole.
Another advantage of non-executive directors is that they can bring a diverse range of skills and experiences to a business. This diversity can be particularly valuable in industries that are changing rapidly or facing disruptive forces. For example, if a business owner is struggling to adapt to new technologies or changing consumer preferences, a non-executive director with experience in those areas can provide valuable insights and guidance. This can help a business owner stay ahead of the curve and remain competitive in a rapidly changing marketplace.
Non-executive directors can also provide valuable connections and networking opportunities. They may have relationships with key players in the industry, or they may have access to resources and expertise that a business owner may not have on their own. These connections can be especially valuable in industries where collaboration and strategic partnerships are essential to success.
Now that we know the potential value that non-executives bring to private companies, let’s imagine a business owner who’s been running their company for decades, and they’re convinced that they know everything there is to know about their industry. They’re so confident in their expertise that they’ve even started giving advice to their competitors. (You know the ones – they’re on LinkedIn selling courses!)
But then, a non-executive director comes along and points out a flaw in their business plan that they never even considered. Suddenly, the business owner feels like they’ve been hit by a ton of bricks. “I just don’t understand it,” the owner says. “We did everything right, and yet we still failed.”
The non-executive director takes a sip of their coffee and says, “Well, maybe you did everything right, except for the one thing you did wrong.”
The business owner stares at them blankly. “And what might that be?”
The non-executive director leans forward and says with a grin, “You forgot to cross your fingers and hope for the best!”