When establishing an effective board of advice it’s important to assemble a team that has diversity in thinking. Diversity, trust and a healthy, respectful debating style are paramount.
Diversity is based on a range of factors including, technical ability, industry experience, age, gender, ethnicity and behavioural / personality profiling tests e.g. Herrmann Whole Brain Thinking. The aim is to assemble a Team of Advisers who don’t all think the same way and have a variety of life experiences.
Good corporate governance is made up of 4 key components :
1) Strategic Planning
2) Risk Mitigation
3) Meeting Rhythms; scheduled 18 months with reporting deadlines and
4) financial controls with delegations of authority.
I like to create a core Board of Advice who have a good working knowledge of the 4 items above relating to the company.
I then invite an external expert to the board table who present with respect to a specific quarterly priority / rock e.g. social media policy, pricing, outsourcing, core customer profiling, legislative updates, ideation, market intelligence etc. After the presentation the expert remains to answer the board’s questions. You may wish to invite multiple expert presenters with knowledge of that rock so that the board are exposed to contrasting points of view.
The expert(s) only sit in on the meeting for the specific agenda item that addresses the rock.
I then facilitate the meeting based on our new found knowledge.
In summary, I like to:
1. Establish a diverse core Board of Advice; and
2. Supplement with experts depending on the rock(s) we are addressing during the meeting.
How does your Board of Advice currently function?