A key element to business success is about rhythms. This is aligned to the concept of flow and at an operational level it is well accepted. But it also applies at the ownership level. A key in the transition from founder to owner is creating a rhythm where the Board and the Executive are aligned.
A crucial tool in this is a fairly straightforward mechanism called the Board Calendar.

In simple terms, the Board will decide how often it will meet. For a smaller organization it may well be monthly or perhaps quarterly. The calendar maps the dates 12 months in advance of when the meetings will be. It then also predetermines the key items it will consider in those meetings and assign them accordingly. In this way, the agenda is largely set in advance. Typical items that might be included are:

• Business Plan Approval
• Strategy Review
• Annual Budget
• Review Annual Financial Statements
• Policy Review
• Board Member Review

And the list can go on as appropriate. At the start simple is good.

Now that the agenda is mapped, the executive team can align their operational activities to ensure that the right information is available at the right time to present to the board.

Whoa #2! We’ve now created a business rhythm that the business directors know what they are going to get and when. They can plan accordingly. If it’s not provided then that is as good an indicator as any that there are problems – after all, you provided twelve months’ notice of your requirements!

This is as powerful as it is simple. You can start with this approach whilst you are still acting in most of the roles we have described. As the business grows and matures and you progress on the founder to owner blueprint track you can add more steps as appropriate.