Helping boards and CEOs simplify the complex
9 December 2020
Being communicative, result-oriented and purposeful are some of the key ingredients that define successful leadership, whether you are in a boardroom or in a CEO position. But how do you measure that success? “A board or a chairman can be satisfied with their own work, but if you do not ask the right or challenging questions when you evaluate and also compare to best practices, it is difficult to know where you stand,” says Monica Lagercrantz, Founder and CEO of SCC member BoardClic – a board effectiveness evaluation platform for Board of Directors and CEOs, set to digitise the board sector.
With a long international career within law and board and executive search, Monica has gained extensive experience in recruiting CEOs and board members. By working internationally and in different sectors, Monica recognised a lack of fact-based evaluations of the recruitments being made. “I was fascinated by how different types of companies followed up on their recruitments. I thought that if you put all that time, effort and money to find the right person for the job, you want the best candidate for the job and you want return on your investment. However, there was very little follow up, apart for financial reporting, on how these senior recruitments actually turned out,” Monica says. For sure, star hires do not equal star performance, netiher in the C-suite, nor in the board room. Monica founded Lagercrantz Associates 10 years ago, and with the vision to digitise the boardroom sector, she founded BoardClic two and a half years ago. “We have a revolutionary platform for the boardrooms, and we saw an opportunity in being part of digitising this sector,” Monica says.
BoardClic specialises in evaluating boardrooms and CEOs, generating insights that are useful and actionable for the user. With its platform, the chairman or shareholders can identify and get insights in the fields of improvement and increased efficiency and alignment. Modern corporate governance and ESG are the foundations of the platform. “By using BoardClic, it becomes clear what needs improving in order to create more stakeholder value,” Monica says. BoardClic is also a tool for creating horizontal alignment, both between the chairman and the board members, and the board and the CEO. “Our work is based on board room expertise and loads of data acquired since many years. It is about combining commercial aspects into sound corporate governance, it is narrow and in-depth. We provide user-friendly reports so the customer can easily act on the result. We simplify complexity.”
Benchmarking with the external world
Besides getting insights where the boards or CEOs need improvements, BoardClic can also be used to get a wider perspective by benchmarking with others. “Our customers can both evaluate themselves, but also use BoardClic as a tool to benchmark themselves to the external world,” Monica explains and adds: “A board, or a chairman, can be satisfied with their own work, but if you do not evaluate and compare with others it’s difficult to know where you stand.”
Keeping the eye on the prize
Improving the leadership of board members and the C-suite is at the core of BoardClic’s offering. According to Monica, successful leadership begins with good communication as well as understanding who you are communicating to. “The ‘why’ is also of great importance – the purpose of your work has to be clear. Also, dare to be a combination of personal and highly result oriented – keeping the eye on the prize”, Monica says and adds: “The competition is tough, and as a leader it’s important to be brave enough to stand out and create an environment where failure is acceptable.”
Using technology to improve processes
BoardClic’s main mission is to digitise the Board sector, which today, according to Monica, is very undigitalised. “BoardClic is about leadership, but even more importantly we are aiming to digitise a quite conventional sector. We believe that technology and data are great resources to improve efficiency in quality, time and costs in this sector.”
Important to define the board’s purpose
One of the most common insights BoardClic’s customers get is that the board’s role is not clear enough. “During the years we have been able to see that a common field of improvement is that the Chairman hasn’t clearly mediated and defined the board’s role and purpose. Board members often see this as given, but it is not actually and can steal unnecessary time and discussions. The Chairman has to define the board’s role and then redefine it depending which phase the company is in. Another common insight we often see is improved communication which creates a safer environment for the board members in order to speak up. The board’s prioritizations in relation to the CEO’s, often come out as a surprise as well.”
Daring women to join the startup community
Being a startup consisting of a small team, imposes its own set of challenges on the business. “For us, it’s all about prioritising, prioritising and prioritising among the opportunities and things we want to do,” Monica says and adds that she would like to see more women in the entrepreneurial world. “I would like to encourage more people, especially young women, to dare to join the startup community. It is hard, eats up all your time, but super exciting.”