While our primary target audience for the Clarity service partnership is the growth-oriented CEOs of SMEs, the board members of these companies are also a crucial stakeholder group for us. Clarity is used in various contexts, such as preparing for board meetings, mutual sparring between the chairman and the CEO, conducting board meetings remotely or live, and communicating with owners.
When Aamu Partners was founded, the perspective of a board member was prominently in focus. In my latest blog, I return to our “roots” and explain the value that the board of an SME gains from Clarity!
1. You have a constantly updated and dynamic overview of the company
As a board member, you’ve undoubtedly encountered various board reporting practices. Sometimes, the CEO sends PowerPoint materials the night before the board meeting. Sometimes, there’s no advance material or agenda. Occasionally, the CEO sends a 150-page PDF with all attachments and explanations. You might find a 300-row Excel file full of formulas and assorted graphs in your inbox. Or, you only get two-month-old accounting data with immediate inconsistencies.
Our clients’ boards enjoy a continuously updated overview that includes both historical and future aspects. The overview and reported matters are always tailored to each client’s industry, situation, goals, and business model and are modified as needed throughout different stages of the company’s lifecycle.
2. You ensure that the company’s monitoring is continuous and done by professionals
You know of cases where the excitement of building KPI reports lasts for a few quarters but then fades over time. In few SMEs, apart from the CEO and possible finance manager, are there other people who can maintain a genuinely value-adding management overview.
With Clarity, you ensure that maintaining and continuously updating the overview is not just a one-time IT project, but a new effective way to lead the company. You also ensure that monitoring is handled by a professional team that knows the company inside out.
3. You do not burden the company’s CEO or other top management
As a board member, you understand that the CEO and their calendar are often tight. Especially in challenging times, many boards demand more frequent, detailed, and extensive reporting from the CEO and/or finance manager.
However, these two roles are likely the most expensive human resources in your company. Their time should be focused on activities that create much greater value than maintaining reports. With Clarity, you ensure that the top management has more time to develop and anticipate the company instead of creating various Excel solutions.
4. You can focus your expertise on the right things at the right time
You were invited to the board because of your solid expertise. How do you truly know when and what kind of help the company and its management need? Are you just relying on verbal information or historical data?
Our service enables you to apply your expertise to the development area that generates the most value at any given moment. In other words, you can effectively do the work you initially wanted to do in the board.
5. You stay on a strategic level and lead the future instead of history
Our years of experience show that it’s common for an SME’s board to inadvertently or consciously delve into very operational issues. Of course, there’s sometimes a place for this, but staying focused on the big strategic picture typically benefits the company more.
So forget about struggling with sales forecasting models, accounting periodizations, and cash flow scenarios. Let us handle this for you so that you can focus on your job: guiding the future of the company.
6. You prepare for board meetings wherever and whenever you want
The chaos of email attachments described in the first point doesn’t sound very modern, considering the possibilities of today’s world. Why not prepare for board meetings wherever and whenever it suits you, using a dynamic web service?
With Clarity, you can log in with your credentials around the clock, view information specifically tailored for you as a board member, and typically find answers to your additional questions yourself, saving time during the meeting. The typical static “CEO review” is always within your reach, and you can delve into the information as deeply as you want.
7. You reduce costs and dependency on individuals
It goes without saying that in small and medium-sized companies, dependency on key individuals, especially in top management, is pronounced. The same applies to the company’s overview. Information is combined from various systems, cleaned up in Excel, stored in personal folders, and kept on personal desktops. In cases of illness, work stops, or the overview can even disappear.
Clarity always includes a small team that eliminates the risk of dependency on individuals, and the web service securely stores information so that everyone has continuous access. Clarity is also more cost-effective than direct recruitment, without the need for onboarding periods, fringe benefits, office supplies, sick leaves, and long notice periods.
8. You protect yourself from personal risks and liabilities
As a professional, you know that as a board member, you may also be personally liable for the company’s activities. While focusing on growth and development is essential, it’s also crucial to be aware of risks and protect yourself in advance. It’s not uncommon for issues like negative equity to come to the board’s attention only afterward, by which time the obligation to report and take corrective measures is a surprise.
With a comprehensive overview and continuous monitoring, you stay informed about potential risks, but you can direct your energy to supporting the company without being a hindrance to its development.
9. You view all your companies in a standardized format
If you are on the board of several companies, you can view all your companies in a standardized format through one login from Clarity. Each company naturally has a customized view with its own monitoring targets and indicators, but practically, you see the companies just as you would see your stock investments in Nordnet. From Clarity, you can also see future forecasts and operational drivers, not just historical results, balance sheets, and stock prices.
Isn’t it time to upgrade your board work to the level your expertise demands? If this topic interests you, do not hesitate to contact us. We’re happy to share case examples from our Clarity clients’ boards!