Nora Crouch is a former Fortune 500 Chief Accounting Officer, has served on boards and audit committees, and is a qualified financial expert. Nora combines her broad financial expertise with her strong strategic oversight capability. She has successfully served on private company boards and has held leadership positions on a number of non-profit boards.
We set up a series of conversations with Nora, to learn more about her views and experiences in the business world.
Nora, you have worked with high-growth public companies, companies in turnaround situations, and companies in divestiture situations. How has this prepared you to successfully deal with a variety of obstacles a company might face?
“My experience having worked with companies at different points along the growth curve allows me to come to the board room prepared for both the challenge and the opportunity presented to companies that are experiencing some form of disruption — and to be honest, what company is not faced with some sort of challenge in today’s volatile environment. While it is definitely more fun to be part of an organization that is successfully growing, I learned the most from the more difficult situations presented by either a turnaround or a divestiture.
“For companies in challenging situations, it is critical to have a board that is willing to ‘speak the truth’ to one another, to the executive team and, most importantly to the company’s shareholders and other stakeholders. Ideally, the culture of the company and the relationships built by board members prior to a difficult time will provide a solid foundation of trust. My commitment to ensuring financial integrity is part of the value I bring to the board of a company challenged by the negative side of the growth curve.
“For companies on the positive side of the growth curve, it is important for the board to ensure that the executive team’s growth strategy is well developed, and that the strategy will ultimately support value creation for all stakeholders. Factors that an effective board of a growth-oriented company should assess include risk tolerance for failure, impact to the culture of the organization, and capacity of the executive and leadership team to support growth. My experience with large-scaled, international acquisitions as well as my involvement with the startup of a strategic diversification initiative, is part of the value I bring to the board of a company taking advantage of the positive side of the growth curve.”
With your vast knowledge on the matter, it’s great to learn from what you share about this topic. Thanks, Nora.