What are the key elements to build a successful advisory board? How do you find the right individuals who can help you increase your business’s success? I have been on advisory boards for over twenty years.
I’ve helped many of my clients find the right people that can help them take their businesses and their lives to a different level. I thought I’d share several keys to help you get the right members on your advisory board. The better your team members, the mores successful your organization becomes when you learn to harness the power of these great contributors.
Over 60% of midmarket CEOs never get feedback from people outside their immediate leadership team or their professional advisors. If you want to improve your organization’s performance, learn to spot and recruit great talent to your informal advisory board. Many of my clients have found as their advisory board grows so does their business. The second key to remember is that these team members can be on your team for a short time. If you spend an hour with a true expert, it can not only save you time, but also money in the long term. For this reason, I suggest getting people with experience to do the things you are trying to do with your organization.
Look for opportunities to get advice from people who lead similar sized organization or, better yet, slightly larger organizations that understand the growing pains you might be experiencing. It’s a good idea to find team members who understand the unique challenges you face as you grow your organization. The more real world experience they have the better they will be at helping you create a solution that you can implement.
The second quality you should look for is individuals who can help you grow. The hard part for these team members is they tend to avoid stepping on toes when it comes to helping a CEO grow. Let them know you are looking to become better at what you do and that you are open to coaching. When I’m facilitating these team meetings, I often ask all team members to leave their titles at the door. I model the behavior for other team members and include several strategic ground rules to make sure my client gets the most out of their advisors. It’s a fine line, but one that produces significant results if embraced.
The third quality I look for are individuals who can help my client’s team improve. It’s critical that both the advisory board member and the executive understand what expertise the advisory board member brings to the table. You’re better off with an advisory board member who is focused in their expertise than having one who thinks they’re good at everything. I’ve found brainstorming is a highly effective way of getting new ideas out there for discussion. Take the pressure off all the participants on the team and you can get some amazing ideas in a very short time.
Finally, I find my best advisory board members are very coachable on how to increase their skills as advisors. When I work with advisory team members I might provide them with some coaching to help them feel like they got significant value for their time invested.
There are many ways to structure these projects so all parties are ecstatic about the results they receive. For many of my business owner clients, this is a great opportunity to grow and develop new skills and capabilities. For my CEO and Managing Director clients, they are able to make their decisions faster with a bias towards action because of their advisory boards.
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Many times, advisory boards lead to future opportunities to work together in positive way. In the future, we talk about other advantages you get having an advisory board. I’ll give you a hint, I know of several M&A deals that came from their advisory board members. See you Thursday.
Original article posted on High Growth Business Report