What is an Advisory Board?
Advisory Boards are a structured and collaborative method for organisations to engage external advisors. In practice, this involves business representatives, an independent Chair, and carefully selected Advisors who provide objective advice and mentoring. This advice ranges from how to grow or scale your business, to helping support a key transition within a company, tackling business challenges, managing crisis, leading expansion into new markets and other strategic or technical advice.
The Advisory Board acts as a sounding board for the owners, directors or shareholders of a company to bounce ideas off – and get access to – expertise that might not ordinarily be readily available. Unlike a Governance Board of Directors, an Advisory Board does not make binding decisions and does not have any fiduciary responsibility, providing non-binding advice and the members are not authorised to act for, or make decisions, on behalf of the organisation. They simply provide a problem-solving model for critical thinking, robust analysis and strategic insights to inform the business owner, executives or directors.
The purpose of most Advisory Boards is to stimulate conversations to problem solve a business priority. Inherently its role is to increase the confidence of the decision maker and due to the flexible nature of structure, the roles are chosen specifically to fit the business requirements. The roles and responsibilities are normally established within the Charter alongside protocols within the Advisory Board structure.
Advisory Board members are generally external professionals who are appointed by a company (not by its shareholders) due to their specialisation (e.g. legal, financial, growth, supply & logistics, technology, marketing, sustainability etc.) or experience in the company’s industry sector. Advisory Boards generally meet on a semi-regular basis (four to six times per year) and are particularly useful for high-growth businesses, family companies, businesses going through a change, or corporatised organisations seeking support to complement their existing Executive team and Board of Directors.
Examples of Advisory Boards
Advisory Boards can be used for a number of different purposes:
- Informal Advisory Boards
- Peer Advisory Boards
- Formal Advisory Boards for whole of business review
- Project Advisory Boards
- Corporatised Advisory Boards – a better structure than sub-committees
- Technical Advisory Boards
Although the structure for each of these Boards are similar, the functional, technical and problem solving skills will differ.
How Can Madison Wells Help Your Business?
Madison Wells provides a practical pathway for businesses to increase their competitiveness, foster innovation and drive economic impact through effective engagement with a range of Advisors – we refer to the model as a BaaS (Board as a Service). This ensures that the Board changes the Advisors as and when needed, typically because the company has evolved and no longer needs particular problem-solving skills. A byproduct of this is that the Advisors are focused on the company rather than their income!
Madison Wells is authorised to implement the ABF-101: 2020 Advisory Board Best Practice Framework™ developed by the Advisory Board Centre. We will provide access to a certified Chair who will carefully review, prepare and implement the Board structure and manage the connectivity between the company and the Advisors.
Call Madison Wells today to discuss how an Advisory Board can improve the economic impact of your business!