An advisory board can be an extremely valuable asset for a business - but only if that advisory board is useful. That's what we're going to talk about today: How to run an effective advisory board meeting — so your time isn't wasted, and you are able to achieve your business goals.
The advisory board meeting is an opportunity to give feedback on your business, as well as receive it. The best way to get the most out of an advisory board meeting is to ensure everyone is clear on the agenda and knows what their role is.
The key to running a successful advisory board meeting is setting expectations before it begins. Make sure everyone understands the purpose of the meeting, how long it will last, and what kind of input they should expect to provide at this particular gathering.
It's also important to establish ground rules for participation. You might want everyone in attendance to be able to weigh in on every item on your agenda — or perhaps only certain members can speak up during certain parts of the meeting. Whatever your approach, make sure that everyone understands it before you begin so that there's no confusion later on.
One of the most important things to remember when running an effective advisory board meeting is knowing who is going to be in attendance at your advisory board meeting. You want to make sure that you include all of the people who will be most helpful in making decisions about your company and its future.
It's best to have a mix of industry experts, investors and advisors at every meeting. This will ensure that all areas of your business are covered and that everyone has something valuable to contribute.
Knowing what each person brings to the table can help you ensure that everyone has something valuable to contribute. If one member does not seem like they would be a good fit for your company after reviewing their background, don't include them in the meeting unless there is a specific reason why they need to be there (for example, if they have specific expertise in certain areas). This will help keep your meetings focused on business-related topics rather than socializing.
Consider whether your advisory board meeting needs to have an outside facilitator. Someone from outside the organization may be able to help make sure that all voices are heard and that people remain on topic during discussions. If you choose not to use an outside facilitator, assign someone in the group (perhaps the chairperson) to keep things moving along and keep participants focused on the goals of the meeting.
Give everyone ample time to speak up. If you have a group of 10 or more people, don't allow any one person more than one minute at a time speaking during a discussion; otherwise, others will feel silenced or left out altogether. And if there are several people who want to speak at once, try having them write down their thoughts on index cards beforehand so that everyone can see what's been said before deciding if someone else should speak next.
Effective advisory board meetings are a valuable asset to any company providing a service, particularly startups. The success of startup companies can often hinge on the advice of their early adopters. Implementing change based on that feedback is key to moving forward and refining your product or service. To ensure that you're getting the most out of your meetings, plan them in advance and make them productive. While it can be difficult if people are bringing non-relevant questions, keep focused on the agenda so that you get everything you need accomplished within the time limits.
Join an Advisory Board
Companies are looking for executives just like you.
See what roles you qualify for with a 2-minute assessment.