Forming an effective advisory board is one of the best ways to boost a business. On a recent episode of Full Production, I spoke with Craig Hook an advisory board facilitator at Strategic Intent Consulting.
“An advisory board for me is just simply surrounding yourself by some smart people, and getting experts that can help you along your growth journey. That’s as simple as it is,” says Craig. Is it that simple though? Let’s look at how advisory boards come together, and why they are such a benefit for businesses, no matter what the industry.
Advisory Boards Provide Impartial and Objective Advice
An advisory board is essentially an unofficial, informal get-together of individuals that have specific experience and expertise. Their sole purpose is to give advice and help your business succeed. “Advisory boards are there to spitball, bounce ideas around and for problem-solving,” says Craig. These guys generally aren’t paid, but in return, the advisors get to network and socialise with other professionals during board meetings, whilst also taking pleasure from mentoring others in need of their expertise.
Bring In Advisory Board Members With The Right Experience
Primarily, having an advisory board is about growing a business. Normally, on an advisory board, there would be an appointed legal advisor, an accountant, a marketing professional, a human resources expert and perhaps a financial advisor. But, in order to appoint the right member to your board, you’re going to have to look for two crucial things.
The first is the capability gap – identifying how certain aspect of a business is currently operating or performing, and establishing where you would rather it be.
What do I mean by that? Well, expanding on this, Craig gives us the example of a fictitious company with a piece of farming equipment they want to sell overseas, to the Southeast Asia market. Their task would be to find an advisor who knows the agricultural industry and exportation methods to Southeast Asia.
Secondly, you need to ensure that the person you’re appointing is the right fit for your business model. One thing Craig mentions is that not everybody is suited to be on an advisory board.
Entrepreneurs usually make great candidates as they are generally more confident in dealing with business matters. There’s also a level of understanding and empathy towards the business owner on their part, as they have, most likely, also experienced the ups and downs of the industry.
Advisory Boards Are Perfect For Family-Owned Businesses
You can’t choose your family, right? There’s a very good reason why family businesses opt-in for an independent advisory board. “Inevitably there will be a difference between husband, wife, dad, sons, and daughters. You know, it can get prickly,” Craig states, explaining that he has been in the midst of families battling it out before.
Having another group that is independent of the business, with the capacity to look at things objectively, helps to tone things down and smooth out any confrontations that may crop up in a more professional manner.
We in the industry need to keep things progressing, so having impartial advice to assist us will see the mining industry flourish for many years to come.
Check out our entire conversation here.