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Bolster

The New Way to Scale a Board of Directors

As we wrote in Bolster’s Founding Manifesto, one of the reasons we started Bolster was to create a new way; a faster, easier, and more cost-effective way, for startup and scaleup CEOs to grow their boards of directors and make them more diverse. There’s a lot of research out there that the more independent a board is, the better it performs for companies — and that there’s a high degree of correlation between more independent boards and higher performing companies as well. There’s also a lot of research out there that shows that teams which have diversity of gender and race/ethnicity perform better. And everyone who has ever been on a high-functioning board of directors knows that a board is…

Zoomsites

(Written by both my Bolster co-founder Cathy Hawley and me) I’ve attended two remote conferences, which Cathy dubbed “Zoomsites” — one here at Bolster and the Foundry Group CEO Summit.  Both hold interesting lessons for how these kinds of events can work well. We founded Bolster two months into the COVID-19 pandemic, and our founding team had not met in person after 6 months of working together. Now, luckily, we’ve all worked together for many years, so we have a lot of trust built up, and have a very strong operating system which includes full team daily standups. Still, nothing beats face-to-face interaction. If you’ve ever founded a startup, you know how impactful it can be to work side by…

What Kind of Gig Economy Executive Are You?

(This post also appeared on Bolster.com). As we wrote in The Gig Economy Executive, the major societal trend to “gig,” or part-time/freelance work, has reached the C-Suite.  We created Bolster to help organize a talent marketplace out of what is mostly an informal economy today – one where VC- and PE-backed companies find trusted freelance executives and consultants from their networks.   In that earlier blog post, we wrote about the different types of on-demand executive work that C-level executives engage in:  interim, fractional, mentor/coach/advisor, project-based consulting, and board roles. As we’ve been building Bolster this year, we’ve come to appreciate that not only are there different types of gig economy roles…there are several different archetypes of gig economy executives, too. …

The New Way to Scale an Executive Team

(This post also appeared on Bolster.com) As we wrote in our Founding Manifesto, Bolster was started in part to create a new way for startup and scaleup CEOs to think about growing their leadership teams. Why do CEOs need help with this? CEOs of any company have too many things to do at all times. This is even more true at startups and scaleups, which by definition are more fast-paced, dynamic, CEO-driven, and thinly staffed. All those challenges point directly to the specific challenge CEOs have with their leadership team. Think about the journey of a company from a founding team to 50 employees. My long time friend and former board member Greg Sands once compared the phenomenon of companies…

The Gig Economy Executive

(This post, written by my co-founder Cathy Hawley, also appeared on Bolster.com) The gig economy is a labor market where short-term or freelance roles are more prevalent than permanent positions. It’s generally characterized by having independent contractors rather than full-time positions, but in some locations and for some types of roles, gig workers may be part-time or fixed-term employees. The gig economy that started with roles like artists, drivers and web designers is quickly expanding to include executive-level roles. There are  a few trends in today’s workplace that are driving this expansion. Startups and scaleups have more flexible, remote-friendly work environments and are looking for creative, less expensive ways of accelerating growth. Executives have shorter average job tenure and are…

Bolster’s Founding Manifesto

(This post also appeared on Bolster.com and builds on last week’s post where I introduced my new startup, Bolster) Welcome to Bolster, the on-demand executive talent marketplace. We are creating a platform that is the new way to scale an executive team and board. We believe that startups and scaleups are not average companies. Their rapid growth means their appetite for talent constantly outstrips their budget — and that they can’t spend months searching for it. Their dynamic industries dictate that they keep pace with bigger and better funded competitors. Their leadership teams — the people and the roles — are always changing. Their CEOs spend a ton of time hiring and coaching their leaders and shaping the complexion and…