Get the maximum value from your board of directors.
Bob Mittelstaedt, an entrepreneur and veteran of small-company boards who now serves as vice-dean of the Wharton School, has a tip about how to get the maximum value from boards of directors and advisory boards. He suggests that boards delay discussion of financials until the end of a board meeting. Focusing on numbers "gets people diverted to minutiae," he explains. At the start of a meeting "it drives the discussion down to a level that isn't appropriate, yet it's something I see all the time." Instead, Mittelstaedt suggests you begin each meeting with a conversation about your positioning or changes in the market -- something at "the big-picture level."
MIKE HOFMAN was previously editor of Inc.com and a deputy editor at Inc. magazine, which he joined in 1996. The site was nominated for a National Magazine Award for Digital Media in 2010, and was named the best business website by Folio Magazine. In 2006, Hofman was part of a team of writers nominated for a Webby Award for best business blog. He lives in New York City. @mikehofman