Feld and Geshwiler on Boards
Common Angels‘ James Geshwiler recently wrote a 3-part series on Reinventing the Board. As he pieced it together he solicited the input of many, including Brad Feld of the Boulder-based Foundry Group. They’re together here for an update on how to build — or how to reinvent — a successful early-stage board of directors.
With angel groups, it’s often the deal lead and maybe other big investors who get named to the board, but is that the best approach?
Does a startup board need a hierarchical structure with a Chair? Brad thinks:
When you put a chairman or lead director, sort of in the mix at the very early-stage, in a lot of ways you create this very weird dynamic between all the different participants that leads you to a lot of the bad behavior…
What does work well? James complains that too many board sessions are focused on the past, like looking in the rear-view mirror, instead of plotting strategies for moving forward. That’s when we get into some reinvention ideas where both Brad and James get rolling.