It's taken a while to bring Boardwave to fruition and countless people have kindly helped each and every step of the way. High fives to each of you. We now have a website, to communicate our message and recruit new members. And a suite of introductory videos.
About 150 members joined Boardwave over the last two weeks since launching the website. It's been fascinating connecting with many of them for the first time and understanding their expectations and how Boardwave can meet them.
Quite a significant number are from start-ups and early stage businesses. And one of the key benefits to them is the ability to meet people that have already "walked in their shoes". One of my key concerns when we started was that a lot of my network and people that I know (that formed the original nucleus of the group) were older, highly experienced CEOs often PE backed. Nothing wrong with that, but I wanted to make sure that we connected to everyone through all stages of business growth.
A CEO who is just developing his business as a start-up and trying to bring his product to market, is unlikely to feel any connection to the Chairman of a business thats 20 years old and turning over $500m revenue. But would probably be more interested in talking to a Founder/CEO who had bought his product to market and started generating revenue. And of course that Founder would in turn by most likely to value connecting to a CEO with $10m ARR (annual recurring revenue) in scale-up mode. And so it goes on....... So it turns out theoretically almost every Executive member of Boardwave could be a source of guidance and mentorship to someone else on the road from start-up to global multi-national business.
"No matter what the ownership structure; Founder Owned, Bootstrapped, Angel Invested, Venture Capital, Private Equity, Public, Boardwave is focussed on helping CEOs at every stage of growth and development find, connect with and form relationships with others that have highly relevant experience."
60% of Members agree to also be Mentors
And thats exactly what we have seen as people have signed up to become members. 60% of Founders & CEOs have volunteered to also be Mentors. CEOs of Start-ups, Scale-Ups, and larger businesses across Europe. Already pledging 750 hours of mentoring time to other members. We are thrilled that the idea has been so enthusiastically embraced.
We are working with some of the worlds leading coaches, to build our mentoring programme for our members who sit on both sides of the table. People like Esther Kerstholt, from the Netherlands, who specializes in leadership development, culture transformation and top team performance.
In the end coaching and mentoring is all about people. Esther says "We should always be experimenting, questioning and searching for how to unlock the source of "what really makes us tick", in and outside of our work environment. Are we doing what we always wanted to do? To what extent can we make our ambitions and deepest dreams as leaders come true?", she goes on "Are you the leader you want to be? What's holding you back? How do you create trust and cohesion in your teams?" These are just a couple of questions that are important ingredients of the executive coaching work that Esther does. We are grateful for her guidance as we develop our programme with our Mentors.
Learning From the Best
For Patrons and Committee Members who have agreed to be mentors you will now see a "Boardwave Mentor" badge on their profile page. This includes Steve Garnett who built salesforce.com for a number of years, Steve Kelly - Chairperson of Technation and previously CEO of Sage. It also includes Elona Mortimer-Zhika and Melissa di Donato, CEOs of IRIS Software and Suse respectively, two of the most senior female leaders in our software industry right now. Take a look at the profile pages of our Patrons and Committee Members, maybe one of them could help you solve a business challenge that you face right now?