In Your Next Board Presentation, Here's What to Lead With: People

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It’s the day of your board meeting. You are prepared and looking forward to a useful discussion. Your presentation is rich with financial data, key performance indicators and the most spectacular charts PowerPoint can deliver. It’s a deck that you expect will dramatically enhance your talk.

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When you finish, a board member with a knack for asking insightful and pointed questions responds: “So, are you confident that your people can get it done?” You respond with an enthusiastic "Yes!" But you can already see from your listeners' faces that they may not share your confidence.

You realize you’ve missed your window for presenting your business’ most crucial asset to the committee. People.

People = investments

In many companies, particularly technology providers, people costs are typically the single biggest line item. Yet, few board presentations include the company’s people strategy. Instead, we tend to focus on financial metrics, like revenue.

Yet, how you build out your team and leadership can reveal a lot about your company's trajectory. After all, the talent that's hired is a key indicator that, long term, your company is on track to win, grow and scale.

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Talent = future performance

In addition to financial metrics, a great deck leads with your human capital strategy. Because you're your company’s “chief recruiting officer,” your board wants to know that you are hiring strategically and keeping your team engaged. With a people-first approach and the right plan, future revenue will follow. After all, engaged employees are committed and motivated to impact the organization’s bottom line.

You’ve also likely spent a large percentage of your time on hiring the right talent. Now is the time to show off your hard work. Instead of communicating descriptive data -- number of hires, sales pipeline, and quotas -- offer insights into whom you have hired by clarifying how the team positions your business for future growth.

So, next board meeting, make a plan. Enure that your board deck leads with revenue and people. By going the extra distance to articulate the people strategy behind your business plan, you’ll demonstrate your leadership for driving strategic growth and change.

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