When Do I Create A Board?
I’ve been asked this question a bunch in the last few weeks in response to my post about more diversity on Boards.
My answer to this question is simple.
A Company should have a Board the day it is formed. The Board should contain one Founder (or possibly two) and at least two independent Directors.
I know that many founders want to control their Boards for as long as possible. I would prefer to see a Founder give up control right away but place control in the hands of independent Directors they nominate. That way they can be comfortable that the independent Directors will have both their interests and the Company’s interests at heart.
This will also make it a lot less likely that the Investors will eventually control the Board as the Board will have institutionalized the notion of independent Directors early on and ideally they will remain the majority of the Board forever.
Finally, it’s a great idea to pick diverse candidates for those independent seats day one. Diversity means “not like us” so it could mean gender diversity, racial diversity, industry diversity, experience diversity, or ideally more than one of those things.