Prof. David Deakins, Director of the NZ Centre for SME Research at Massey University, provided some great insights this week. He rightly pointed out that small businesses can have a huge impact on the economic development of a nation. He singled out entrepreneurs as having an important role to play.
As I see it, Boards also have a big role to play. First, they can serve as a useful foil for an entrepreneurial founder, particularly when it comes time to create plans, assess opportunities, and monitor performance objectively. Second, Board members have networks and they can (and should) access resources (funding, people, products) in ways that the entrepreneur may not be able to. No doubt there are many other ways Boards can help, but these are two that spring straight to mind. The challenge for Boards is to own this proactive role, and not to just sit back on monitor performance.
Deakins points to the upcoming ICSB conference in June. The SME growth topic will be explored further. I've registered. If you have an interest in growing small business into the next generation of large enterprises, perhaps you should consider attending as well.
Thoughts on corporate governance, strategy and the craft of board work; our place in the world; and, other things that catch my attention.