What is an Advisory Board? In the most practical terms, an Advisory Board is a…
Why a Formalised Advisory Board Can Provide the Best Chance of Success
The way we work has evolved considerably in recent decades. Progressive businesses must respond rapidly to an ever-changing market and business leaders wanting to elevate their business to the next level are striving to access current, ground-breaking thinking.
As businesses grow, the nature of their advisory needs, the resources available to meet them and the kinds of advisors they draw on, also changes. While there is no single, right or wrong approach, that there will likely come a time when a desire to drive strategy or achieve certain results means a formal Advisory Board provides the best chance of success.
“As an entrepreneur, the weight of the business is on your shoulders. This is exciting, but I know from my own experience it can also be lonely. Connecting with other peers and gaining new insights into my own business as well as the wider market is critical. I recognised that when I transitioned from informal engagements to a formalised Advisory Board the support I received had a greater focus, and therefore impact, on my business.” – Louise Broekman, Founder & CEO, Advisory Board Centre
Understanding Advisor Engagement
Many entrepreneurs have a trusted, informal network that they access to “bounce an idea off of” or to “pick each other’s brains”. These networks are invaluable. Formalising your access to high-quality and successful advisors through an Advisory Board takes this process to a new and exciting level.
Engaging a formalised Advisory Board should not be seen as a “better than” approach- as in an Advisory Board is “better than” any other type of advisor engagement. It’s simply a different way of engaging to drive a more defined outcome.
Not only do businesses with well-structured Advisory Boards perform better, but according to Canadian research, 80% of business leaders with Advisory Boards said that if they had to do it again, they would set up another Advisory Board.
Establishing a Formal Advisory Board
A formal advisory board is not a one size fits all approach. Business owners need to carefully consider their business priorities and the advisor profiles that will best support their needs. The process needs to be carefully managed to sustainable and help drive a net economic impact for the business.
Research conducted for the 2019 State of the Market Annual Report identified that 88% of business owners and executives sought independent support to gain clarity on what they needed and their options for Advisor engagement. The Advisory Board Centre established the Advisor Concierge service to provide a guided process to support businesses to gain clarity and facilitate the connection to highly-qualified, independent Advisory Board professionals. If a formalised Advisory Board is the best approach, a Certified Chair can support the business to create a defined charter, meeting structure and advisor profiles to identify the skillsets, experience and connections needed to drive results.
For Andrew Murray, Managing Director of Perpetuate Management & Advisory, his work as a Certified Chair means he can have a greater impact on the businesses he works with. “Formalised Advisory Boards are a completely different experience. It is an opportunity to work with a bespoke team, custom built for the business and designed to provide the right advice at the right time in a detached but professional manner. My own professional progression has taught me that the next opportunity is just around the corner. If you are so busy working in the business you may not get a chance to work on the business and those opportunities just sail on by.”
It was this kind of advice that led Greg Kentish, the CEO and Founder of Acacia Connection to implement a formal Advisory Board. According to Greg “the main outcome is being able to significantly continue to increase our growth”. Since implementing the formal Advisory Board, Acacia Connection has experienced 100% growth, growth forecasts remain strong and the outlook is very positive.
Amid an ever-changing market, a formal Advisory Board ensures a clear focus on your priorities, overseen by an independent chair and advisors whose skills sets and industry profiles will support your key priorities. A well-structured Advisory Board should not only be flexible enough to evolve with your business but accelerate your entrepreneurial drive.
“My own Advisory Board was with me during the growth, international expansion and my exit from my previous business. Having a structured approach actually made it easier for my Board to change and evolve and my businesses needs changed.” – Louise Broekman, Founder & CEO, Advisory Board Centre
About the Advisory Board Centre
At the Centre we want entrepreneurial businesses to gain the benefits that Advisory Boards can offer. We have established and chaired Advisory Boards for organisations in the Emerging/Start-up phase, as well as organisations experiencing Growth, Change or considering Sale or Exit. Through this experience we also recognise that establishing an Advisory Board is a big step for your business.
The Advisory Board Centre is an independent Industry Group that provides a practical pathway for businesses to increase competitiveness, support faster innovation and drive economic impact through effective engagement with Advisors.
If you’d like to discuss if this is the right approach or timing for you, please reach out to us.