The orientation of advisory and supervisory boards is as diverse as the organisational landscape. Medium-sized (family) companies with differentiated advisory or supervisory bodies are contrasted by stock-listed corporations with highly regulated supervisory boards. A newly to be designed Scaleup board with independent and VC representing board members or a Joint Venture board result in once again a totally other board dynamic. In practice, there are serious differences in the composition of advisory and supervisory boards:
Owners of medium-sized (family-owned) companies have a great leeway in setting up their advisory boards. But in order to master entrepreneurial challenges in the long-term and to meet the individual needs of the shareholder and family structure, tailor-made appointments respecting companies’ history and culture must be made.
Corporate governance of stock corporations, on the other hand, focuses on constantly evolving quality standards and stakeholder interests. The composition and functioning of supervisory bodies are attracting increased public attention and require the professionalization of monitoring work.
For a Scaleup board the risk profile and reputation risk might come in play. Important for the board member is to understand the typical dynamics around a Scaleup such as its financial situation and financing rhythm, agility and required speed, growth before EBIT, replacement of leadership/founders, technological innovation, new working method and much more. On the other hand, a Scaleup might expect more from its Supervisory board members in guidance, coaching, industry know how, networking and so on.