Advisory Boards, LLC Lists Nine Tips for Creating
Successful Advisory Boards
1. Compensate your advisory board members: Depending on whom you are
inviting to participate, and how involved you need them to be, compensation
may vary from just providing food to covering expenses, cash payments,
stock options, or combination of the four.
2. Determine the objective of your advisory board: Advisory boards can
be general in scope or targeted to specific markets, industries, or issues,
such as adapting new technology or going global. They provide timely
knowledge about trends and competitors, as well as identifying upcoming
political, legislative and regulatory developments. They can help you
enter new businesses and look at your own operation with an open mind.
3. Set expectations: When inviting a perspective member to join your
advisory board, lay down the ground rules about what is expected in terms
of time, responsibility and term of office. If advisory board members
plan to discuss private information, members should be notified that
they will be asked to fill our a confidentiality agreement.
4. Choose the right people: Of course, when forming an advisory board
you really need to understand its purpose, but you also need to know
what specific skill sets to seek. The general rule is to look for diverse
skills, expertise and experience. You want
members to be problem-solvers who are quick studies, have strong communication
skills, are open minded and most importantly, have the
ability to make decisions.
5. Ask for honesty: An advisory board must be open and frank, so don’t
be offended if you hear things you don’t like. Your board will
also suggest ways of correcting the problems they identify.
6. Consider alternative feedback methods: Getting the entire board
together might become difficult. Instead meet or have conference calls
topics relevant to their expertise as needed. E-mail is a great way to
reach everyone and have them respond to you at their convenience.
7. Keep board members informed: Once they are on their board, keep
members excited about your business by giving updates at times when
you are not
soliciting their advice. The fact that they have agreed to be on your
board means that they believe in your company, so keeping them up to
date will help them be of greater value to you. Remember that these people
are evangelists for the company.
8. Respect your boards contributions: Don’t abuse or waste their
time. Listen to what the board says. Sometimes, a business executive
is so close to an issue that they can’t see the forest from the
trees. But remember, this isn’t a corporate board, so you don’t
have to do every little thing a board suggests. Ask yourself, does this
work for my company…am I comfortable with that…then make
9. Get the most out of your advisory board meetings: Prepare for meetings
advance. Choose a site that is comfortable and free of distractions.
should be given for developing and managing the meeting. Solicit input
for agendas and distribute important information ahead of time. Run the
session as you would any important meeting and follow it with an action
plan. The facilitator should know which experts to draw out and how to
stimulate the dialogue. He or she should be result oriented as ideas
without actions aren’t worth much. The minutes should be written
up and circulated to top management. The notes should include recommendations
on key issues.
Benefits of Participating on an Outside
may take the form of:
honorarium or fee paid for participating
in monthly live meetings or teleconference
to live conferences in places like Florida,
Las Vegas, Atlantic City, etc. to meet company
officials and fellow board members.
your circle of business contacts and perhaps
develop new business and customers.
to the development of a particular profession
satisfaction of helping to steer a company
or resume building.
to Company for Establishing an Outside
people with critical business experience
access to the established networks of advisory
honest third-party feedback.
credibility and endorsements.
Copyright © 2014 American Advisory Board, LLC.