5 Tips for Getting the Most Out of Your Advisory Board

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If you’re the CEO of a startup or SMB, you likely have advisory board or are thinking about forming one. You probably also participate in one. But is your advisory board functioning at its highest potential?

Thinking carefully about an advisory board’s purpose will ensure it’s structured to maximize its contribution to an organization’s success. Assuming you’ve already done that, here are five quick tips to make sure your advisory board is bringing the juice.

1. Know the business

If you aren't familiar with the business model, the industry, the competition, the technology and the key buyers, ask - ASAP. A full understanding is 100% required, always. Make sure everyone is up to speed.

2. Analyze the trends

Through research and relationships, see what industry trends are out there that you can share and discuss. Back your thinking with recent data (nothing older than nine months). Be sure to make this part of the process item so members know it’s an ongoing approach to staying ahead of the curve.

3. Come prepared

Be efficient with your time and that of other board members. Read up on any materials beforehand and clarify through email or 1:1 phone calls so you you discuss, debate and resolve in the meeting.

4. Ask qualified questions

When you’re prepared and informed, you’re able to ask the tough questions that will help identify opportunities and/or gaps for the business. Highlighting blind spots is invaluable.

5. Less is more

Keep the content and conversations focused on 1-2 key topics per meeting. It’s better to dive deep than go wide when leveraging the expertise of the Board.

Meeting quarterly or biannually, advisory boards can provide strategic direction, guide quality improvement, and assess program effectiveness. Request a consultation to find out how A23 Advisors can help you create your advisory board, prescribe a useful framework, engineer value, guide structure, recommend new members and facilitate meetings.