If you choose to utilize an advisory board for your business, which you should because it has plenty of benefits, it’s important to understand how to turn your board into a high impact board. as effective as possible. Creating a great advisory board is more than simply choosing people you think will give good advice or who have worked in the industry for many years. First of all you have to define the specific advisory board who knows what they’re talking about and can offer advice and solutions that are the best for your business. Here are some tips on how you can make the most effective advisory board possible.
Define your strategic goals
When you design your Board, you need to identify the areas that are highly critical for the success of your company. And where you think you face your principal knowledge gaps. Instead of simply choosing people, take time to think about what areas you need help in the most. If your business is relatively young, it’s even more important to have a board that has successfully lived through an experience like the challenges you face ahead of you.
Choose members carefully
It can be tempting to choose people you already know well and who you know support you completely. However, it can be more beneficial to choose board members who will push back on some of your ideas. You do not want to find a bunch of yes men who won’t actually help your business grow. Analyze in an objective manner who provides the biggest impact.
When you first start interviewing potential board members make sure that you objectively describe your expectations and the type of engagement that you will receive when working with them. Identify issues that really interest your potential board members. This will ensure that they happily engage with you and your team and assures their support even between board meetings. Iron out all of the details beforehand. How much will you be paying them? How much time do you expect them to dedicate to your meetings? Will they be available for calls between board meetings? Do they proactively come up with ideas on how to support you, introduce you to potential customers, etc.
Set a clear agenda and prepare the relevant information
Whenever you have a meeting, do not use PowerPoint, provide your board members a brief text describing the situation and specifying your questions or problems. You want to make sure that your minutes reflect the conclusions and are a helpful tool for you and your team to facilitate execution. When you communicate, summarize the communication in a follow-up email or some other form of writing. Having clear agreements prevents any confusion and helps everyone remember what was discussed and agreed upon.
Communicate and evaluate
Once of the best ways to have an effective advisory board is to learn the importance of communication. Make sure that board members, you and the executive team evaluate the meetings. If you all know how the board meetings are generating value communicate with each other will be easier and you’ll see success much faster.