May 7 2007

Talking to Directors

On Saturday, I called a director at a company I’m on the board of to get a reality check on something that is going on.  Ten minutes on the phone solved three things: (1) I was able to road test my idea with someone I respect and (2) I incorporated his feedback into my idea, and (3) we were calibrated.

While this may seem obvious, I’ve never hesitated to call another director on any issue concerning a company I am involved in.  While board meetings are logical check in points, they are not the only ones and, in many cases, are not the most important ones.

I know some directors (and CEOs) who are uncomfortable talking with other directors outside the context of board meetings.  I’ve never understood this.  Pascal Levensohn has a nice post up about this titled Don’t Assume That You Have Consensus on Your Board– Make Sure You DoHis simple message is “communicate.”

Reflecting on it, my hierarchy of daily communication is Amy, my partners, CEOs of companies I’m an investor in, and then directors / co-investors of companies I’m an investor in.  Ok – I suppose my mom is in there somewhere also.