Tom’s points-of-view

This section contains my points-of-view about key issues and questions regarding long-term value growth and preservation in a for-profit business.  I do not address not-for-profits, government, or other non-profit oriented organizations.

Each point-of-view is a brief article (supported by a one-page slide available for download) designed to enable discussion among owners/shareholders, board of directors, advisory boards, and C-Suite.  I have no magic “one size fits all” solution.

The following is an overall framework, into which my points-of-view fit. Points-of-view will be added and revised over time.   Recognize my thinking evolves over time, thus all the points-of-view may not seamlessly fit together.

The points-of-view flow from beginning to end, based on 7 themes:

  • Avoiding business failure.
  • Strategy and strategic planning.
  • Understanding customers.
  • Corporate governance – who make the decisions?
  • Transformation – what is it, do you need to do it, it and how to do you do it?
  • Creating business value e.g. Mergers and Acquisitions.
  • Buying or selling your company, or raising capital.

As I create new points-of-view or revise old ones, I am:

  • Including fact-based research and stating the sources for the facts.
  • Adding a section “What do you do if you are a Small Medium Enterprise”.
  • Defining some of the terms I use. Definitions are critical. Feel free to use your own definitions.
  • Adding a section suggesting your next steps.
  • Including references to publications for further reading.


Your company will fail

Overview Your company will fail. Few major companies survive. Few major companies have sustained value creation. Many company directors do not understand: the strategy, how value is created, and industry dynamics. Most HR and IT organizations are not aligned with the strategy. Most employees are not working to achieve the strategy. Major business changes almost … Continue reading Your company will fail

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Why will your company fail?

Overview Most start-ups will fail. Leadership is the underlying cause of start-up failure. Most companies will not survive. The board of directors is weak. Corporate leadership decisions and actions are not fact-based. Corporate leadership has poor decision-making behaviours. Values, morals and ethics are not understood or agreed up. The corporate leader selection and development processes … Continue reading Why will your company fail?

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What will be the board and C-Suite talent requirements?

Overview Future corporate leadership (board and C-Suite) talent requirements will drive talent selection, development and succession planning. Corporate leadership must deal with stakeholders and third parties. What is the purpose of governance? What are your strategy and strategic plan? How will the future corporation be different? Describe the future roles. Outline future talent requirements. Make … Continue reading What will be the board and C-Suite talent requirements?

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What is the difference between strategy and tactics?

Overview I’ve often heard that good execution beats strategy.  My experience is that execution which achieves good long-term results actually reflects a good strategy.  But that strategy may be quite different from the “official” strategy document.  Success requires more than good luck – both a good strategy and good execution are key. Strategy – Where … Continue reading What is the difference between strategy and tactics?

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What is the corporate governance ecosystem?

Overview Governance discussions should begin with a view of the ecosystem.  Corporate governance is focused on the board of directors of a corporation and the surrounding ecosystem.   The ecosystem has seven sets of components: Laws, regulations, and standards; Shareholders (or members if a non-profit); “Customers”; Competitors, suppliers and partners; Trends (economy etc.); The public; and … Continue reading What is the corporate governance ecosystem?

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What is public company governance?

Overview How are your board of directors and governance competitively differentiated? Compliance governance focuses on the documents and processes to meet legal and regulatory requirements, and other standards. Value growth and preservation governance focuses on having the right people making decisions with a high impact on value growth and preservation. The board should discuss the … Continue reading What is public company governance?

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What are the decision making challenges faced by directors?

Directors face many challenges in making decisions. #1 Have the directors agreed upon what decision are most critical and what are the criteria? Is the criterion – what has the greatest impact on long term value creation and preservation? Are the critical decisions: setting the strategy; hiring/terminating CEO; Approving CEOs strategic implementation plan; monitoring results … Continue reading What are the decision making challenges faced by directors?

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How can the shareholders agreement focus everyone on value?

A private company is often governed by a shareholders agreement. How can the shareholders agreement focus the owners, board and management on growing value? Before starting on the shareholders agreement, there must be a common understanding of objectives.  The shareholders may have different objectives.  The purpose of negotiation is to minimize any conflicting objectives and … Continue reading How can the shareholders agreement focus everyone on value?

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What is business transformation?

Overview Transformation may include up to five types of changes. Corporate leadership must always be transforming itself. What is driving the need for transformation? Company is not changing as fast as customer and company ecosystems. Decreasing: market size, market share, and customer satisfaction. Business model and corporate leadership not competitively differentiated. Financial results not competitively … Continue reading What is business transformation?

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How do you succeed with transformation?

Overview What are the facts regarding your current situation? What is driving the need for transformation? What is the scope of transformation? Corporate leadership must always be transforming itself. What are the success principles for transformation?   This article (supported by a one-page slide) is intended to enable discussion and action planning among owners/shareholders, boards … Continue reading How do you succeed with transformation?

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How can M&A create value?

Overview More than half of all deals destroy value for investors. M&A has three value creation approaches, based on the buyer’s strategy and future business model. Customer-focused growth is key, supported by business model improvements. Accountability for results must be assigned. Results relative to targets must be reported on Small private companies have a unique … Continue reading How can M&A create value?

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How can a private company sell securities in Ontario?

Overview There are two ways for a private company to sell securities in Ontario: with or without a prospectus. A prospectus is always required unless the company meets specific exemption conditions. With these exemptions, the company has multiple potential sources of capital. With a prospectus, the company can raise capital from any investor, either through … Continue reading How can a private company sell securities in Ontario?

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