In order for your board to actually make a difference for your business, you need to keep its members engaged. You want a high impact board that helps your business grow and thrive. Too many people approach their advisory board as something they can just create and then let go and assume the members will help the business grow. If you want to have your advisory board make a difference for your business, you and the members must all be continuously engaged in that growth.
If you want to engage your board, you need to identify the objectives for the board. When the board is first created, take time to identify what the advisory board wants to accomplish for the business. You should also share your overarching business goals so the advisory board is aware of them and can work toward them.
Avoid unnecessary meetings
Far too many companies have a load of unnecessary meetings throughout the day. It’s so much time that could be better utilized elsewhere. Do not let your board become bogged down in useless meetings. Only insist on a meeting if there’s something tangible to discuss and if it’s actually necessary. If a board feels that there are too many meetings, it’ll be harder for them to be engaged during the more important times.
When you first establish your board, take time to do some training. You can have a third-party group come in and give an overview of what a high impact board looks like and how best to achieve the business and board goals. Training helps everyone involved understand what is expected and what you’re working toward together.
Prepare for meetings
The worst mistake a business owner could make when working with an advisory board is to not adequately prepare for meetings. This concept is important for board members too. Before walking into any meeting, the board members and the business owner should all be prepared so no one’s time is wasted.
As your company grows, it’s vital that your board grows with it. You’ll need to regularly evaluate your board and sometimes replace members with new ones who have the skills that are most needed for your business. Creating an advisory board is not a once and done task; in order for it to stay engaged and effective, it needs to be evaluated and changed accordingly.