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What support is out there for directors of mid size business?

· Strategy

We decided to take a look at what current industry market leaders are talking about when it comes to board practices and performance for the mid size business (MSB) category.

Why bother you might ask? MSB’s are the engine room of the UK economy and will play an increasingly important role in a future of Britain outside the EU. We wanted to find out how much attention this large and vital part of industry gets.

We wanted to know what access directors have to the types of resources they might need to become more effective in the boardroom, and to impact success of their businesses.

So what exactly did we do? We systematically looked at what 15 industry leaders (the likes of the Big Four consultancy firms) were publishing in the last three years specifically tailored for the mid cap market relating to governance.

MSB’s are an underserved market, the overlooked “middle child”. As anticipated, the findings showed a consistent neglect of the governance needs of mid size business. Of the over 350 articles reviewed, less than 10% were directed specifically at the mid size market. What’s more very few of the 10% were directly addressing governance needs.

So unsurprisingly the vast majority of information freely available on governance is geared towards big business. Of this information there lacks a practical element and it’s often written in a language that isn’t easy to understand.

And when it comes to contemporary issues that are facing UK business such as cyber security, Brexit and skills shortages, industry is generally discussing these from a management point of view, not what the board room needs to have on their agenda.

Popular culture and our ever-increasing reliance on technology have shifted the ways and means a modern day audience wants to access information online. Governance practices have failed to keep up.

The vast majority of information falls short when it comes to dynamism, with few using the likes of webinars, vlogs or podcasts. Instead a lot of what is available continues to be lengthy and verbose.

The information is also fragmented making it more difficult, and therefore time consuming and tedious, for busy directors to find.

Finally, what does this all mean and what you can do to help?

MSBLeaders is designing an online platform that will have everything a modern director needs to perform well. The information will be all in one place, in a language that you understand, in a way that you want it delivered.

There’re striving to have the voices of those that lead mid size business heard and there are two vital ways in which you can help us do this:

1. Take part in the soon to be released National MSB Leadership Study. This will help us to more clearly define the MSB markets’ wants and needs.

2. Get involved in our qualitative research so that we can dig deeper into the current trends and issues facing your business.

If you’re a director of a business with a turnover of between £10-£250 million and want to get involved, please contact

Alongside MSBLeaders’ review of industry, Salford University Business School has been reviewing what the academic literature tells us. Look out for a second blog post on their findings soon.

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