A Formal Advisory Board Can Dramatically Impact Your Business or Organization

Formal Advisory Boards support growth, transitions, complex challenges or new initiatives, as well as succession, exits and more. As a Certified Chair, there are a range of services I can provide to support you and your organization in relationship to the implementation, facilitation, chairing or serving as a member on your board.


Do You Need a Formal Business Advisory Board?

Advisory boards are not appropriate for all types of businesses or stages of development. However, expanding or adapting a business is difficult, and you frequently require outside, independent aid!

Your current methods, ways of thinking, and occasionally even team members won't necessarily bring you where you want to go. You also cannot be an authority in every field. You may benefit from a structured Advisory Board if:

  • You must make some significant strategic decisions or adjustments in course, and you want to improve the level of discussion surrounding your options.
  • You need to get the company ready for an exit if you're thinking of retiring or leaving the company.
  • Your team is unable to create the growth strategies that will enable you to address your next growth horizon because of a lack of experience.
  • You lack the skills, passion, or comfort level to build organizational underpinnings that will permit scale.
  • You are experiencing significant growth and want to make the most of the opportunities that are present, so you are thinking about making an investment to remove some chips from the game or to accelerate growth, or both.
  • If you're thinking about creating a new product, service, or business model, you probably don't want to waste time and money.
  • You need to digitize your offerings or revolutionize your organization using technology, but you're not sure where to begin.

What Advantages Do Formal Advisory Boards Offer?

Corporate leaders and owners frequently remark that having an advisory board allows them to:

  • Spend more time working on their business, rather than just in it.
  • Make better, more educated strategic decisions that have been road-tested and constructively challenged in a judgment-free environment.
  • Accelerate their financial aspirations.
  • Accelerating towards their financial goals faster.
  • Enjoy their organization and work more.
  • Spend less time trying to figure out the next best step to take in order to accomplish their objectives.
  • Save money by avoiding wasting time and effort on tactics that aren't effective for them.
  • Feel less stressed knowing they have a skilled team behind them to support them when they run across difficult issues.
  • Spend less time putting out fires as they improve their ability to prioritized, delegate and lead.

Who Do Formal Advisory Boards Not Serve?

You might not want engage an Advisory Board if:

  • You don't like having your opinions vigorously contested by enthusiastic specialists who are honest.
  • You're not naturally inclined to make adjustments or take effective action to advance your results.
  • For the exclusive benefit of external stakeholders, you're just looking for people to add their reputation to your organization.
  • Your engaged in questionable legal or ethical activity.
  • You’re at risk of financial collapse.

If this describes you, creating a formal advisory board is not likely to be cost-effective or yield a positive return on investment. You might wish to think about hiring an external Consultant, part-time or fractional CFO, or other specialist who is more suited to your current demands.

How Does A Formal Business Advisory Board Work?

The principal purpose of establishing a formal Advisory Board is to get the independent thinking partners around you who will provide quality, non-binding strategic advice to help you grow, manage or transition your company. They’ve got your back, they work for you and their sole intention is to see you succeed.

Here’s what a best-practice, formal Advisory Board looks like:

  • It’s made up of you as the Founder, Owner or CEO, an Independent Certified Chair, usually 1-2 additional Approved Advisors and from time-to-time key leaders from your organization
  • You appoint the Chair, and the Advisors
  • The full formal Advisory Board meets with you quarterly and you meet with the Chair in the intervening months
  • Strategic priorities for the business are explored, discussed, debated and you walk away with insights and actions from each session with your Chair and full Advisory Board meeting
  • It takes as little as 30 days to get your formal Advisory Board established and you’ll then generally keep the structure in place for 18 months or 3 years depending on your goals and strategic priorities
  • Your Chair’s job is to provide advice and mentoring in the 1:1 sessions, help you establish the formal Advisory Board and act as both Facilitator and Advisor in your Advisory Board meetings . Your job is to prepare properly, actively participate in the process, take action, reflect on progress and ensure your internal team are working on the right priorities to help you achieve your goals in the shortest possible timeframe

How Is A Formal Advisory Board Different From A Board Of Directors?

Advisory Boards aren’t better or worse than Governance Boards, they just serve an entirely different purpose.

Some of the key differences between formal Advisory Board and Governance Boards are that formal Advisory Boards:

  • Are problem-solving oriented, not decision-making oriented. They don’t require you to give up any decision-making control or equity. The decisions about what to do with the advice is entirely up to you
  • Don’t make any capital allocation or budget decisions that influence how you run your business
  • Aren’t forever. They’re generally in place for up to 3 years
  • Are flexible. While it is likely that you’d maintain continuity with your Chair for the full duration of your formal Advisory Board, your Advisors can be interchanged along the way if your strategic priorities change

Want to have a conversation about implementing an Advisory Board in your organization?