Newport Board Group partner Jennifer Knight and the company she is President/COO of, American Woolen Company, are featured in a recently released video piece produced by Starbucks Coffee.
At first glance, what could be more different than General Motors and the emerging growth and lower middle market companies that our firm, Newport Board Group, serves?
In earlier blog articles I have looked at issues confronting earlier stage and middle market companies as they traverse what Doug Tatum, our firm’s Chairman, called in his book of the same name: “No Man’s Land.” This is the phase of corporate evolution in which companies are too big to be small and too small to be big.
In several recent blog articles, I explained the distinctive advantages of the franchise business model. Entrepreneurs who have developed a localized, replicable business model should understand the option to franchise their business—especially because franchising has moved well beyond its traditional footprint in fast food, car repair etc. into a broader range of service businesses.
Middle-market companies often operate as small fiefdoms under the control of the king, or to use a business term, the CEO. Very few mid-sized companies have a formal board of directors and for those that do have boards, CEOs tend to populate them with family, friends, and internal management.
For many years companies have financed significant portions of their operations by leasing buildings, machinery, manufacturing equipment, trucks, railcars, office space, office equipment – desks, chairs, computers, copiers, etc.
Newport Board Group partner Art Medici was recently interviewed on two business radio shows about leadership lessons he has learned in the course of his career as an executive and entrepreneur.
CEO’s and Boards are usually inclined to think that changes in accounting rules are matters that only their CFO needs to worry about. Not true at all in the case of the new revenue recognition standards recently promulgated under the converged authority of the (U.S.) Financial Accounting Standards Board and the International Accounting Standards Board.
Mergers and sales of companies are accelerating at a significant pace, and it is not just at the mega-merger level. Small and mid-sized companies are being swallowed up by larger companies flush with cash and ready to take advantage of the growing economy.
In reflecting on many years of experience on boards, as a Chair and board member of companies and non-profit organizations and as a CEO, I believe that the roles of a company board can be boiled down to five:
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