VCs and CEOs need to do their job when it comes to startup board engagement • TechCrunch

It was another person Connie Loizos’ recent article, Post-Covid, Have Investors Lost a Taste for Board Meetings? Stories and quotes about investors reducing their interest and participation in board meetings, not showing up, sending the junior associate to cover, etc. The stories and quotes told in the article are eye-opening and shocking.

Reasons cited are plausible, such as excessive investors, zoom fatigue and new directors. Connie’s note “Private VCs admit they don’t add much value on board” is funny to read as CEOs talking about how much value investors add to boards (even if they’re good ones). do add more value!)

For the most part, everything about the content of this article makes me angry.

Disorganized or dysfunctional boards aren’t just bad for CEOs and LPs. They are bad for everyone. The world has truly become a place where board meetings are the focus of attention for CEOs, and if you think it’s a tax that investors can’t afford, it’s time to hit the reset button on boards and board meetings.

Here are four things that need to happen in this reset.

Investors must do their jobs well or stop working

Disorganized or dysfunctional boards aren’t just bad for CEOs and LPs. They are bad for everyone.

The argument that investors did a lot of deals during the pandemic so they don’t have time now is especially silly, since the pandemic has also reduced the amount of time VCs spend in individual board meetings. I hold four in-person board meetings each year with directors who travel to meetings, have dinners, spend time with the team, and sit in on committee meetings.

Today, boards are lucky to meet in person once a year (more on that later). And since everything takes less time and less transportation, any VC should double the time they spend in board meetings.

Serving on a board after an investment is central to an investor’s role. Their primary role is to “find deals, execute deals and manage the portfolio,” so they are obligated to the founders they support and the LPs they represent.

If they don’t have time for the third job, they should receive both founders and LPs before they go down. If the VC can’t be bothered to think about their investments and focus on adding value, they should work with the company to find their replacement.

CEOs should take their job as board leaders seriously.

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