a16z Podcast: Independents on the Board

“Orthogonal thinking” but “shared core values” — that’s what makes an ideal board… especially when it comes to “independents”, i.e., board members who aren’t also investors. But how do you get the most out of those independent directors, who are often in the minority? How do you bring in the best board member for the company, team, product — not just as another box to check on the road to IPO, but to ensure a fresh and/or missing perspective? And finally, how can the existing board — and CEO — best prepare for the changing dynamics? Leaders have to evolve with the company after all.

In this episode of the a16z Podcast, moderated by managing partner Scott Kupor, general partner Lars Dalgaard (formerly CEO and founder of SuccessFactors) and executive coach (and former investor) Anne Mitchell — both of whom have served on boards for companies all the way from private stage to IPO — share their thoughts and experiences. The conversation took place as part of our annual Director’s College at Stanford University in April 2017.