"There are several advantages that companies with advisory boards have over their competition. A board offers your business:
• An unbiased outside perspective.
• Increased corporate accountability and discipline.
• Enhanced CEO and management effectiveness.
• Greater credibility with investors, vendors and customers.
• Help in avoiding costly mistakes.
• Rounding out skills and expertise lacking in current management team.
• A sounding board for evaluating new business ideas and opportunities.
• Enhanced community and public relations.
• Improved marketing results and effectiveness.
• Strategic planning assistance and input.
• Centers of influence for networking introductions.
• Crisis and transition leadership in the event of the death or resignation of the CEO.
• Help anticipating market changes and trends."
Some of the advice offered in this excellent article may be sumarized as follows:
Steps to Creating an Effective Board of Advisors
• Analyze the strength and weaknesses of your current management team
• Set clear, written goals and objectives for your board of advisors
• Develop a candidate profile.
• Seek out experts.
• Ask for recommendations.
• Find your candidates motivation.
• Have variety in your board
• Look for a proven track record.
• Clearly communicate your goals and objectives.
Pitfalls to Avoid
• Members missing meetings.
• Insecurity of senior managers.
• Incompatible personalities.
• Excessive number of board members.
• Lack of CEO communication.
• Inadequate compensation.
Keys to Board Effectiveness
• If you build it, use it
• Value their input, even when they disagree with what you want to do.
• Communicate with your advisors.
• Hold regular meetings.
• Have an objective for each meeting.
• Annual assessment of board performance.