3. It's all about timing.


It's also important to schedule your weekly meetings at times that are conducive to strategic thinking. While that may sound a bit obvious, how many times have you been stuck in late afternoon meetings where participants were more interested in watching the clock on the wall than hashing out new strategies and initiatives for the company?

To that end, Sheppard and her executive team at MarketMile made a decision to change their weekly meeting times because the Monday afternoon time slot wasn't convenient for everyone or conducive to thorough discussions.

"One reason for having it late in the day is that you can focus on the agenda and the meeting will last over a specific time frame," Sheppard explains.

But by the end of the day, people were anxious to go home or needed to catch late-afternoon flights, she says, so the meetings now begin around lunchtime.

"You need freedom of thinking by the entire board, so a lot of structure was almost a [necessity for building a business," Sheppard says.

But it's at the monthly dinner parties when MarketMile executive team members and their spouses really get to congregate in a casual setting to talk about their experiences unrelated to the company.

4. Seek input at all levels