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Actionable Insights

Are You a Director Serving on a Board? (I Need You for 30 Minutes)

Jul 19, 2018 12:00:00 PM / by Adam Nathan

Ram Charan Boards that Lead Bartlett System

Ram Charan and “The Central Idea"

First some context and then the “ask."
Best-selling business author Ram Charan writes about the value of aligning a corporate board around "a clear and compelling message that is revisited periodically." In his book Boards That Lead, Charan calls this a company's "central idea.” He urges boards to revisit the central idea at every opportunity.
 
Here are three quotes for context:
“The central idea references why the company exists, whom it serves, how it should be nurtured, why it will flourish and how it will make money.”
“Boards need to make sure the central idea is clear and compelling and that every board member understands it."

“The central idea should become a natural, instinctive frame of reference against which to gauge strategies, external information and board decisions."
 

How Does This Tie In to My "Ask?"

Now, it just so happens that this focus on a central idea is exactly what we’re already doing with strategic dashboards inside an organization. We develop dashboards that provide a simple, digestible look at the vital signs of the business. We carefully tease out the key performance questions of a business and then measure the pulse of its business model. 
 
We believe - with no outside confirmation to date! - that these same tools will amplify Ram Charan’s "central idea" in the boardroom.
 
And - also with no confirmation! - we think we can take his "central idea" concept one step further. We can add targeted measurements to the narrative's "central idea" for some metric heft.
 

Our Untested Hunch

We need to know if our hunch is right - and that’s exactly why we need to talk to board members.

If it is, then our strategic dashboard could become a tool to drive powerful, recurring conversations between the CEO and the board. It will create a shared, consistent framework for what matters and what doesn’t. It will focus, align and simplify an organization's strategy. It will help structure the "central idea" conversation and keep the board focused on what most matters in the little time they have to make an impact.

Which brings me - at last - to you.

Are You a Board Member? Can You Help?

If you are a current for-profit or not-for-profit board director, would you be available for a 30-minute conversation? Would someone you know and trust in your network? Feedback on the relevance and value of our idea would be invaluable, and perhaps our vision for structured board metrics will be of interest.
 
We think this is an exciting opportunity, but it needs to be informed by directors on the front lines.
 
Thank you!
 
If you're interested and available, please reach out to me via our contact us page or at adam @ bartlettsystem.com.

Topics: Key Performance Questions, CEO

Adam Nathan

Written by Adam Nathan

Adam has been called "the John Ive of business simplification." He brings twenty years of experience helping business and non-profit leaders drive value with actionable insights. As a long-time business owner and CEO himself, he understands that creating value from information is never a given and that creating a data driven culture is a learned skill.

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