The thought alone can create a degree of stress. A business’s Board plays an invaluable role in governance, oversight and accountability. A good board always looks out for its shareholders. A GREAT board goes beyond that, they have a vested interest in STAKEHOLDERS as well. Customers. Suppliers. Employees. Community. Lenders. But it’s the responsibility of the management team to report on these areas and generate the discussion needed to paint a full view of the business, beyond just the numbers.
This past month I flew to San Francisco for our annual Board Meeting. The cross country flight gave me plenty of time to compile the information, well over 6 hours. Facts, figures, results, accomplishments, and missed opportunities.
All very important work, and it was a great use of the cross country flight time.
But as often happens, when I put things away and wake up the next morning, something comes to mind that should be dropped/added/modified. This board meeting was no different.
The morning of the board meeting I woke up early (easy on East Coast biological time!) and cobbled together what I call the “LM Foods Year in Pictures, Heart & Hustle.” Preparing this was one of the most enjoyable 30-45 minutes of the year.
This became slide #2 of the presentation. Right after a simple “truth” slide that provides Context. Here’s that slide:
“The most UN-predictable area of business to quantify/measure/predict is the human aspect of a business.
The culture of a company.
And it’s absolutely the most important. And it is usually the least talked about area of business for this very reason.”
That’s all the prep work. 2 simple slides, no #s. All people.
The actual meeting with my Board Exceeded my expectations. We talked about the year in pictures for a good % of the meeting.
Some team members have health challenges…..they each have a story and we root for them, and stand by them.
2 team members with baby showers, with homemade “one-zies” as gifts. You can’t have a baby without that baby being certified BRC AA, with an LM Foods Logo can we? Hand ironed to save 75%!
The role that cookouts/meals play when your bringing the team together for important areas: Celebrations, Laughing & focused R&D days for customers
Our internal Christmas card which always makes me smile: Our Finance Lead Cutting the lawn, Plenty of Cigars, Our Sales Director on an undersized bed, compliments of Air-BNB for the Boston Seafood Show. Air BNB by the way saved us a few $’s and was easier to laugh at each other and ourselves! In fact, the laughing was worth a premium, the savings was the icing on the cake.
And most important. 8 Service awards. 10 – 20 years of dedicated service from employees that embody our LM’s initials: LOYALTY MATTERS.
Engaged & Smart people will always find a way to let the sparks fly in a business meeting, and the LM Foods board certainly fits the bill.
A company’s Culture is really what makes it tick. Every company has one, whether it’s defined, or not. I absolutely believe that a company’s culture is the most important asset that never shows up on a balance sheet. If you agree, wouldn’t it be worthy of slide #1 and a proper discussion with your BOD?
LM Foods. Where Loyalty Matters. And 2 simple core values.
Heart & Hustle.
You can’t get any simpler than that.