STARTING AN ADVISORY BOARD
- Blogs by our associates -
Appreciation for Wise Business Advice
- Colin Mason
Seeking and providing advice are central to effective leadership and decision making. Yet managers seldom view the exchanges as skills they can learn and improve. Receiving guidance is often seen as a passive intake of wisdom. And advising is typically downplayed as a matter of “good judgment” (you either have it or you don’t) rather than as a capability to be mastered.
Best Performing Business Advice
- Colin Mason
Success-minded people soon discover that to follow the advice of those who are wise is wiser than the advice itself. It takes a confident and thoughtful person to realize they need some guidance from time to time. Successful business people know that they can learn and grow by listening to those who know what they are talking about.
Most of us have turned to others for advice. There are always enthusiastic sources of ideas, opinions and recommendations. Some are qualified, some not so much:
Friends, Family, Colleagues
Lawyers, Bankers, Auditors
Trade Shows & Conferences
Peer Group Associations
LinkedIn & Online Groups
Boards of Directors
What is an Advisory Board?
There are many good reasons to form an advisory board. According to the Business Development Bank of Canada, the most common reason is the desire for complementary expertise. But what exactly is an advisory board? At the simplest level, advisory boards have the following characteristics:
They are a special group of advisors
They are objective, and independent of management
They provide insight, counsel and mentorship
They have knowledge or experience not present among management
Is an Advisory Board Right for You?
(and When NOT to form an Advisory Board)
You’ve identified a business problem, you’ve done some research, and you’re beginning to think you might want to start up an advisory board. But, is it really the right thing to do? Are you ready to form an advisory board? Will you able to get the most value from your advisory appointees?
There are many compelling reasons to form an advisory board, and there also some compelling reasons not to form one. Let’s first look at why you might not be ready to form an advisory board.
When to Consider Forming an Advisory Board
In our previous blog, we discussed the reasons a CEO should not form an advisory board. To recap, we advised not forming an advisory board unless you can:
Dedicate the time required
There are multiple circumstances where you should consider forming an advisory board.
Steps to Forming an Advisory Board ( Part I )
In our previous posts, we’ve discussed what an advisory board is, the benefits of an advisory board, and whether (or not) an advisory board is right for you.
This post outlines what we believe is the best approach to forming your advisory board. We won’t go into a detailed methodology, but we will describe the high-level steps to get your board up and running.
Broadly speaking, there are four steps. Let's look at the first two:
Steps to Forming an Advisory Board ( Part II )
In the previous article, we discussed what we believe is the best approach to forming your advisory board. To recap, the four high-level steps to get your board up and running are:
Create a charter
Determine needed skills
We will now focus on steps three and four from the above list:
Planning the First Session with Your Advisory Board
Once you’ve finished recruiting your advisory board members, it is time to plan for the first meeting.
This is where you pull everything together and set the stage for your advisors to begin delivering value.
The first meeting is especially important, as it will determine long-term roadmap of the board.