Why Does Lateral Not Seek Board Seats?
Lateral Capital is a “hands in” investor, not a “hands on” investor. By this, we mean that we look to engage with management in the most helpful way possible, not to “run the company.” We have plenty of operating experience and we know that Boards have a very important role. But Lateral Capital’s “highest and best” value is to provide strategic insights, management advice and introductions to experienced resources in law, marketing, IP, distribution and, of course, potential customers. We are very open about all the mistakes we have made over our careers – hoping we can get our invested companies to “make new mistakes.”
We believe the best way to deliver on this objective is by not serving on Boards of Directors. Rather, we think the best way to successfully influence management is to coach the CEO from the side. We try to do several things for our invested companies – some of which Board members are unable to do because of their fiduciary responsibilities:
- Introductions, introductions, introductions (don’t forget introductions!).
- Gently reminding the CEO “Why” they are really in business – particularly on dark days. Sometimes the most important support we can provide is to remind the CEO that they got into this because they believed in something bigger than making money.
- Clear perspective on strategic planning using the Five Questions | One Page Success Plan™ approach. This includes advice on when to converge (do fewer things better) and when to diverge (look for new things that need doing).
- An endless stream of insights from around the world on topics of interest to Early Stage companies.