As a new board member in the business, how do you make an impact and contribution so that your value is more beneficial to the company you are working in?
To understand the impact you make on the Board, it is important to know who is a board member, what exactly is the role of the Board and what qualifications to need to become a board member especially in the Ugandan text.
Who is a board member?
To understand who is a board member, we need to look at the levels of management in a typical company. Traditionally, we have what we call strategic, tactical and operational levels. At the strategic level, are the business owners or the shareholders. These appoint Board members to oversee the running of businesses. Ideally a shareholder or owner should handpick people whom they trust because they have experience.
What is conflict of interest? Conflict of interest means that you have got two interests on either side. You are going to be undecided of whom to give or which decision to take because you are conflicted. For example, if Iam working in government say in the Ministry of Finance and Economic Development and in charge of procurement, and people who have bided there is a firm of my brother, my wife or anybody whom I’m interested in.
Few people understand what strategy actually means.
A course of action, which if well implemented, will give you a unique advantage over the competition is strategy.
For example, most audit firms strategy is attain 80% revenue from consulting business and 20% from assurance (external audit work). Whereas there is money in auditing work, the fee note is usually restricted to utmost Ugx. 60 million (US $22,000). In Uganda, just like world over, external audit work is done to fulfill regulatory/ compliance requirements. The perception of value added is small! Successful audit firms get most of their revenue from consulting. They keep audit/ assurance services for the assured annual revenue and to sustain the firm since consulting work tend to be uncertain.
I submitted a proposal to the CEO for implementing a new strategic approach. Of course, most people are afraid of the change. Unfortunately, the proposal was delegated to the HR manager to liaise with me. And below is our exchange.
HR manager: where else have you implemented the Playing To Win strategy?
I used to think writing a business proposal to the Chief Executives of any company is the best appropriate method of getting business. It was not until my managing director at SCL, Mustapha B. Mugisa clearly explained what the concept of a business proposal. He asked, “How do you define a proposal?” A proposal is a conceptual agreement between the two parties involved.
During my conversation with my managing director, Mustapha B Mugisa, he asked, “what does confidential information mean to you?” The key investment any company has is its intellectual information.
He added on that data security is important area of concern for the kind of business we do. As consultants, we collect a lot of confidential client data and it is our responsibility to keep it secure (confidentiality, intefity and availability).