Need Some Business Advice? | The Melting Pot Newsletter | #76
ARE NON-EXECUTIVE DIRECTORS WORTH YOUR TIME AND MONEY?
Running a business can be tough at the best of times. So many unplanned challenges and obstacles facing you every day. It’s hardly surprising that even the most confident of entrepreneurs question their abilities.
If you’re an owner, CEO or MD wanting to take your business to the next level, you’re probably going to need some outside help. It’s important to be humble enough to recognise you don’t know everything and curious enough to listen and change. But where should that external advice come from? Traditionally in the UK, companies hire non-executive directors.
If they’re PLCs they have to do this. It’s a legal requirement to have non-execs on your board to represent the shareholders for fiducial/compliance purposes. But if you’re a small, privately held business you have more options. My suggestion is you use that freedom to assess what you really need instead of blindly following the herd.
So why are non-executive directors less effective for growing businesses? What are the other options?
Finding The Joy Of Work With Bruce Daisley
“We’re not really evolving the way that we work… it’s no wonder that a lot of us are finding work exhausting, repetitive, wears us down.”
Is your job wearing you down? Do you hate Mondays? Perhaps it’s not your work that’s the issue but in fact the workplace culture. Before you jack it all in and start looking for gainful employment elsewhere, take a listen to Bruce Daisley.
You might know Bruce from his #1 Apple business chart-topping podcast Eat, Sleep, Work, Repeat on work culture. Or you may know him as the former VP Europe for Twitter, having spent over a decade running Twitter and YouTube (the latter at Google) for Europe, leaving Twitter as its most senior leader outside of the US.
Regardless, he is an authority on the subject of workplace culture, now spending his time championing reforms and finding solutions to climate change.
This is Dom’s second recorded chat with Bruce (the first didn’t make it to publication) so luckily this one is all-encompassing. Whether you’re a CEO or the new kid at the company, sit back and listen to this enlightening podcast episode, as Bruce talks about the things he’s learned along the way to make your work culture suck less.
This is a great episode that’s worth a listen – ‘Rules for Effective Hiring – and Firing’ with Joel Peterson, Chairman of JetBlue Airways. Joel has spent a career leading teams, building businesses, and managing people at every level. Along the way, he’s learned valuable lessons about the best ways to bring on new talent – as well as when and how to let people go. Dom spoke at an event with Joel and found some of his thoughts on hiring inspirational and unusual.
There are now over 200 classifications of mental illness, the most recent being one that plagues the workplace: Burnout. Burnout does not discriminate based on age. It infects entry-level employees and C-suite executives alike. Symptoms include lack of productivity, cynicism, energy depletion, and unexplained headaches or stomach problems. No industry is immune.
Every year, the professional wordsmiths and gatekeepers of various dictionaries announce their lists of new words deemed to be in sufficiently wide use as to warrant their blessing and inclusion. Among Merriam-Webster’s new words and phrases of 2019 were deep state and fatberg (a portmanteau of fat and iceberg, describing a large mass of fat and solid waste that collects in a sewer system). Gig economy, pain point, and haircut, in the business sense of an asset suffering a loss in value, also got in.
According to a Gallup State of the American Workplace survey, “78 percent of employees are not convinced their leaders have a clear direction for the organization.” A lack of direction leaves employees not only feeling unsupported in their growth, but it actually causes even worse problems for leaders.
SCALING YOUR TECH BUSINESS BY DOMINIC MONKHOUSE
Calling all CEOs, Founders and Managing Partners! Learn valuable scale-up strategies in a brand new book by the UK’s top tech industry business coach, Dominic Monkhouse. Dom has a track record of scaling-up award-winning technology businesses, including two UK based companies from zero revenue to £30 million within five years. Now he is sharing the secrets behind his success in a new book, FREE to all Melting Pot subscribers. The download will be available from 9 March. Watch out for your copy!
The context of business has changed so rapidly over the past few decades that it may be time for a new lexicon. At the very least, it’s time to challenge some of the established thinking about strategy and competition that used to drive business advantage – but no longer does. In this book, strategy expert and Columbia Business School professor Rita McGrath takes on one of most fundamental and recognized notions in strategy: that of sustainable competitive advantage. She argues this can no longer be the Holy Grail for companies because in a constantly changing environment, deeply ingrained structures and systems designed to extract value actually become a liability. The new path to winning includes taking advantage of shorter term opportunities, as well as relying on new organizational talents like speed and decisiveness.
MEANINGFUL ACTION FOR MONDAY
Stop working weekends! There may be times you have to, but these should be the exception, not the rule. Resolve to finish work on Friday and start work on Monday. Likewise, when you go on holiday, delete all social media and email apps from your phone. Your non-working time is important – spending time with family and friends will give you the mental break needed to make effective decisions. Working late into the evening or weekends is likely to affect your sleep and therefore your performance. If you attack a whole series of tasks tired, they’ll take longer, leading to a vicious circle of long hours and more under-performance.