After the Term Sheet: How Venture Boards Affect the Success and Failure of Technology Companies

After the Term Sheet: How Venture Boards Affect the Success and Failure of Technology Companies

This white paper discusses the proper corporate governance role a Board should play in a start-up venture capital-backed organization. It is a best practices document designed to facilitate trust between CEOs and venture Board Members while keeping clear the unique and valuable role each plays in the life of a start-up. Venture capitalists’ (“VCs”) wide experiences, social network, mentoring and other resources are of at least as much value as their capital in nurturing new ventures.We believe that the quality of the interpersonal relationships between VCs, other Board Members and upper management is the key to enterprise success.

Letting Go & Moving On

Letting Go & Moving On

Family leaders can hamper pro g ress and deter successors from taking over the ru n n i n g of the company. Dennis Jaffe summarises why it is important to keep a good work-life balance and the need for leaders to be aware of when the time is right to transfer power.

Opinion, Decision and Experience: The Lost Connection

Opinion, Decision and Experience: The Lost Connection

Visiting Vietnam was a disquieting experience on many levels. It has been part of my emotional vocabulary since my college years, the center of so many arguments and social issues. I knew what we should be doing there, and what we should not, as there were always others who had deep emotional commitments to the opposite viewpoint. But until I went there those ideas were just that, concepts, not at all rooted in experience; something to think about but not something with concrete reality.

Leaders as Gatekeepers and Boundary Spanners

Leaders as Gatekeepers and Boundary Spanners

The nature of leadership competencies is evolving because the context and challenges facing leaders in organizations today are shifting, as are the demands and speed of necessary change.

Knowledge Before Power – Handing Over the Firm

Knowledge Before Power – Handing Over the Firm

When handing over a business to the next generation it is difficult to know exactly what to teach your successor and what information to leave behind. Dennis Jaffe explains how the knowledge you have accumulated over the years is the most valuable thing of all.

It’s Good to Talk

It's Good to Talk

While the business leader should be alert to threats arising in the external business landscape, more often the decline of a family business takes root from within. In my work with business leaders I have found that their confidence, success and power to govern the family and its resources can lead to some bad habits in communication that can actually set this decline in motion.

Getting Over Happiness: A Contrarian’s Meditation

Getting Over Happiness: A Contrarian’s Meditation

An emerging field of research informs us about relative “levels” of happiness reported in various countries. I learned that Finns are the happiest people in the world, except perhaps for the citizens of Bhutan, who regularly report their Gross National Happiness Index. I assume that the residents of tropical paradises are also happy. But I really have no idea whether or not I am happy. I am not often sad and depressed, but other than that, the idea of increasing my level of happiness has no reality for me. My response to a happiness poll is to click on “Don’t Know”.

Framing the Conversation: The Power of Initiative

Framing the Conversation: The Power of Initiative

In organizations and even families, as attempts are made to resolve issues, too often the interaction hardens rather than eases the process. In conversations I see, the first step is often for people to look into themselves and define what they want, assuming that inner reflection will lead to an authenticity and willingness to learn and question. But the focus on inner experience first initially adds more volume to their moral or political beliefs, making them less open to hearing the other.

Business is Personal: Family Business Offers an Alternative

Business is Personal: Family Business Offers an Alternative

At the most recent summit of the Family Business Network, groups of young people and business‐attired elders swarmed the lobby of the Singapore Ritz Carlton, in one of the most inspiring and unique gatherings I have ever experienced. In total, some 700 family business owners from more than 40 countries, and a range of sectors from manufacturing to clean tech, attended – some representing centuries‐old firms.

Building a Culture of Innovation: Report from the Field

Building a Culture of Innovation: Report from the Field

The Global Forum on the Culture of Innovation, sponsored by the Aspen Institute and the Urban Land Institute, transformed a ballroom in San Diego into a nexus of ideas, exchange and of course thoughtful networking. I was delighted to be invited and came with no preconceptions, and that was probably the best way to prepare.
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