As current Executive Chairman of Cogint Inc
. (formerly IDI, Inc.), former Chairman of PolarityTE, Inc., and Interlick, Inc., as well as being a director in multiple public and private companies over the years, Michael Brauser is well versed on the importance of a Board of Directors as well as what makes them function properly. The requirements of a good Chairman are outlined in, Chairman: Mastering the Role
Generally, the Roles of a Board of Directors are as follows:
- Determine vision, goals and policies of the company.
- The Board must set a strong vision supported by clear goals and policies.
- Establish and implement company strategies.
- Create strategies to accomplish short and long term goals that benefit the company first.
- Delegate, communicate and monitor strategies and policies
- Set a corporate structure that can efficiently meet, if not surpass expectations set by the Board.
- Communicate responsibly and understand Shareholder agendas.
- Create a communication process that meets responsibilities to Shareholders and stakeholders by following all policies and procedures.
As an experienced Chairman, Michael Brauser has successfully assembled high performing Boards. Essentially, a high performing Board can function well under pressures from Shareholders, CEOs and industry specific operations. It proficiently sets benchmarks and measures its success in a complex environment with many variables. Each member is committed to fulfilling their responsibilities with the company’s interest in mind.A successful Board of Directors fulfills its role
according to the Governance Policies of the company and is assembled
with thought and care. Public companies have their own special rules that need to be followed.
What is a good Board of Directors?
- The roles and responsibilities are clearly defined.
- A solid Governance Handbook that is reviewed and revised will set the bar for all Board Members.
- A Chairman who can manage all stakeholders and keep the Board focused.
- The Board must have a selection process to ensure they find the best candidate.
- It brings together an assortment of experts who can function as a team in the interests of the company.
- Recruiting members with both high expertise and low risk of conflict is often a challenge.
- It has been assembled with thought keeping in mind short and long term goals.
- A stacked Board is not always the best one. Ensure there are Members who can speak from experience.
What makes a Good Board Member?
- A proven track record showing that they can make good decisions.
- Board members may be expected to voice expert opinion and in many instances the stakes are high. The Board member must be able to think impartially.
- An expert in one of the functional areas of business (sales, finance, marketing, research)
- A Board with sales, finance or marketing expertise is valuable. Even though at times, consultants are hired, having a Board Member with these skills is ideal.
- They fit into the company’s timeline (startup, growth, sale)
- If a company is in the startup phase, board Members with startup experience is beneficial. The composition of the Board tends to change over time, reflecting the direction of the company.
- Expertise and experience in the specific industry.
- Commitment to fulfilling their responsibilities in the interest of the company.
- A good board member supports the vision and mandate of the company.