So – you are a director that understands what an advisory board is, and you have made the decision to create one.
Before then however you are probably seeking some practical advice on how exactly you go about creating one. Here we lay out 6 quick steps to creating an advisory board to get you started…
1. Decide what you want to achieve
What function do you want your advisory board to have – what is it that you are looking to achieve by having one? Remember that, unlike a board of directors, advisory boards can function in a variety of ways, and there are also a variety of benefits to having an advisory board.
As director it is up to you to decide what exactly you are hoping to achieve, to ensure you get the best out of the board you create.
2. Identify the skills or experience you need
Once you have pinned down what you wish to achieve, you will then need to assess what is missing from your, or your teams’ skills set.
Do you need someone to advise on something technical, do you need someone who has extensive knowledge of the industry you are in? Do you need someone who has no experience in either of these areas but is adept at helping companies grow quickly? Write your shopping list!
3. Recruit the right advisors
Now you have your shopping list, you can simply recruit people yes?
Of course this is easier said than done! This is the point where you can leverage your network, ask for recommendations, seek out those who will question your decisions! Ask those whose advice you have valued in the past for their suggestions.
When you have a potential candidate, like any recruitment process it is important to do your research – ask for references, conduct a phone interview, perhaps try out on a consultancy basis first.
4. Create a terms of service agreement
While members of an advisory board are less formal than a board of directors, there is still a formal agreement which must be embedded; this is good advisory board management and ensures everyone is clear on expectations.
It is important that you manage your advisory board well, for several reasons. If you want more detailed information on advisory board management you may find our blog on this useful at this stage.
5. Appoint a Chair
As we have mentioned advisory boards are not statutory boards and operate differently, however it is important that you appoint a chair, even if you board consists of only a few people.
Appointing a chair enables better development of relationships between members and adds another layer of accountability as you are essentially providing a leader who will make sure members have read papers, completed tasks and so on. A tool like the BoardSecure Portal can be hugely beneficial to the chair during this process.
Communicate, communicate, communicate!
Finally, communication throughout this process is key. You might not have the capacity to meet monthly, and decide to meet once a quarter, but consistent communication between these meetings is important.
Make sure you talk to your advisors, seek advice, provide them with feedback. Commit to keeping them updated with changes to the business as soon as you can so that they can provide you with timely feedback. By keeping regular communication with your advisory board you are more likely to ensure it achieves its purpose.
Read our blog ‘How do I manage an Advisory Board’.
Read our blog 'how to run effective board meetings'.
Try out the Boardsecure portal for yourself here.