Do you need an Advisory Board?

For many organisations the usual approach has been to rely on the small group of leaders within the organisation to come up with all the ideas, make all the decisions and get the work done. As an organisation grows and becomes more complex, the owners or founders look to external strategists and proven business consultants to help navigate the way forward. The benefit is experience, objectivity, focus!

For larger, more established organisations, there may be a board of governance, with elected or appointed Directors, to oversee strategy and ensure compliance on behalf of various stakeholder groups. The limitation is often legacy issues, resistance to change and personal attachment.

In our disrupted digital world both these models struggle and often need support to identify and meet their own unique challenges. Increasingly, the answer is to adopt an Advisory Board.

What is an Advisory Board?

Advisory Boards are a small group of Subject Matter Experts (SME) brought together with a specific focus for a specific period to work through a challenge. The Advisory Board will usually start with the appointment of an independent Certified Chair, who assists the leader of the organisation to assess the aim, and together, they select the remaining advisory board members with the right skills and experience to achieve a result.

Advisory Boards will have a mix of internal and external people who are all highly motivated to solve problems, generate ideas and options for consideration by the traditional decision makers. An example of this may the integration of systems to find efficiency and enable scale. Functional leaders may find it challenging to manage the day to day and transform their functional area at the same time. An Advisory Board, in collaboration with the functional lead brings to capability and focus on developing options for consideration.

A further example may the merger of two organisations. Bringing experienced people in to work through the issues associated with a merger will ensure a smooth transition and reduce costly errors. The Advisory Board is not there to make the decisions, it is there to identify and generate opportunities.

What if I have a Board or Executive?

An advisory Board does not replace any existing structure, it merely enhances capability in that part of the organisation or function that may need greater objectivity and new thinking. It is important that an Advisory Board includes one or more Executives or Directors to ensure the Advisory Board has context and can establish a deep, engaging partnership with the existing decision-making bodies.

How do I find out more about Advisory Boards?

Our Managing Director, Micheal Martin FAICD, is a Certified Chair and is available to discuss your questions at any time. If you are looking to browse for further information, check out the Advisory Board Centre and then contact Micheal on 0400 023 404 for further assistance.

If you have any specific aspects, you’d like more information on or if you have further questions, reach out by clicking here!

Read more about the Author of this article here.

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