For many organisations, the usual approach is to rely on a 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 and 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 an independent Certified Chair and will have a mix of internal and external people, who are all highly motivated to solve problems and generate ideas as 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 process and transform their functional area at the same time. An Advisory Board, in collaboration with the functional lead, brings capability and focus on developing options for consideration. A further example may be the merger of two organisations. Engaging experienced people to work through the issues associated with a merger will ensure a smooth transition and reduce costly errors.
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. The Advisory Board is not there to make the decisions, it is there to identify and generate opportunities.
How do I establish an Advisory Board?
To ensure an Advisory Board starts well, seek out an independent Certified Chair who has completed the Certified course via the Advisory Board Centre. Once appointed, the Certified Chair assists the leader of the organisation to assess the aim and scope, and together, they select the remaining board members with the right skills and experience to achieve the desired result for the organisation.
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.
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