In my working life I have moved in three directions. Principally, I have advised companies on strategy and business development and held leading positions in Danish and foreign enterprises. For a number of years I taught strategy and management at the University of Southern Denmark.
My key competence is strategy combined with knowledge and experience in several fields – management, export, organisational development, entrepreneurship, marketing and board duties. I have played my part in a number of sectors, and what makes me a good partner for strategic discussion is my long and varied collaboration with owner-managers in small and medium-sized enterprises.
Søren Kierkegaard once said “That if in truth one is to succeed in leading a person to a particular place, then first and foremost it is necessary to make sure to find him where he is, and start out from there.”
Those are wise words, and a good starting point for cooperation based on trust.
Membership of the board
A professional supervisory board…
- Serves as a sounding board for strategic discussions and exchanges of ideas with others who are close to the company, but still ‘at arm’s length’ from everyday business
- Provides access to specific and professional expertise
- Carries on constructive but critical dialogue about challenges in the development of the company.
The owner-manager or director must want a board and reserve the time to work with a strong team and inform the board regularly of how matters are developing. Otherwise it is better to carry on with the “family board” – or without a board at all.
Professional board members should live up to three requirements – calendar, competences and chemistry.
Personal chemistry is the most important. A strong board is also a strong team, where the members challenge each other and create good results together in a good atmosphere.
I see board assignments as a question of craftsmanship. With good craftsmanship a board functions well, sets the right agenda and gets the strategy carried through.
I have sat on a variety of boards for the last fifteen years. Most of them worked together as strong, constructive teams over many years – but not all of them. Usually, it was because one of the three c’s was missing: most often the personal chemistry did not match, together with the basic common attitudes that board members must share in order to serve together.
Today, I have enough experience to say no thank you if my gut feeling tells me that this cooperation is not going to work – especially if the company owner does not really want a board. Good initiatives will then be a waste of time.
I act as a strategic sounding board for company managers who want to develop their business. I get to know the company in detail, and we set up an agenda that allows for optimisation in all operations. I aim for a company with super-efficient operations and a competitive strategy. One-sided focus on one, without including the other, does not make sense. We need to look at the whole of the value chain and business procedures, while at the same time developing strategies for growth and positioning on the market. Throughout the process respect is maintained for the company’s values, opinions and culture.