Yesterday we were treated to a learning- rich Meetup at Sub Urban. Tony Hassed from BoardSense was our guest speaker. Here’s 11 key learnings that I picked up on from Tony's presentation:
1. your advisory board should not be delving into the operations of your organisation. Their role is to act as an "agent provocateur" and ask the hard questions based on your Strategic Direction. They are not there to make decisions for you or provide solutions.
2. A key advantage of having an advisory board is getting external perspective on your business and a monthly accountability framework through board reporting.
3. your Advisory board should be unpaid - they are motivated by a passion for your business or by wanting to support the professional development of the founder(s).
5. your advisory board should be appointed by skills set - they are familiar with your business, have a good general business base and networks and are great team players. Risk adverse professionals like accountants or solicitors may not make the best board members.
6. your advisory board must have clear terms of reference to ensure that advisers are not deemed directors (who are financially liable) and that conflict of interest and meeting regularity is clarified.
7. appoint no more than 3 members on your advisory board. It can get confusing and unwieldy.
8. the best time to appoint an advisory board is at the early stages of your business.
9. find an advisory board member through Business Mentors NZ or if your in Wellington contact Sub Urban Co-Working for contacts.
10. The process for appointing an advisory board should be via an initial interview and then meeting with other members of the board to ensure there is a good fit.
11. Board member commitment can be gauged at appointment (12 months for example) and if necessary board members can be removed at anytime depending on the needs of the business.
12. There is loads of useful info on the web about advisory boards. In particular check out Tony Hassed's website Boardsense where you can find info on best practice in board governance (both for profit and not-for-profit organisations). Tony updates this weekly summarising international Linkedin groups so it's guaranteed to be cutting edge and relevant.
Kathleen from Sub Urban