So you’ve decided to create an advisory board for your organization. That’s awesome! It’s a great idea.
As folks who routinely run advisory boards for some of the biggest companies in the world, we’d like to offer you a few tips before you pull the trigger.
Have a clear purpose and objective.
In general, an advisory board should be a sounding board for ideas and feedback that will help guide the direction of the company. It is a collaborative effort of the company’s leadership and the top customers, which focuses on solving business challenges and optimizing investment for everyone. For the company, it gives the executives the opportunity to deepen relationships with top customers and get strategic advice on how to create better alignment. For board members, meetings give them the opportunity to preview emerging solutions and products, share best practices and case studies, discuss industry trends, network with peers, and provide feedback directly to the company’s senior leadership.
Have a healthy budget.
You’ll be inviting director, vice president and C-level executives to serve on your advisory board. They will be taking time away from their job, families, polo matches, exotic car shopping and the like – so it needs to be worth their while. The budget should include lodging for attendees at a top hotel, food and beverage, networking activities, and marketing services for event management and production. If you need help with that, we know a great company. Whether you hold a half-day meeting or a two and half-day meeting will likely be determined by your budget.
Have leadership support.
The top executives at your company need to be all in. Unlike your high school boyfriend, they need to commit. This includes participating in the meetings and throwing all of their (and their team’s) support toward making the program successful. They need to be willing to pick up the phone and call a board member to help recruit them, light a fire under them or thank them for being involved.
This is the first post in a series that will be showcasing advisory boards. Have questions? Comments? Hit us up on Facebook or shoot an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.