What is the best strategy you know to build an advisory board?

We are creating a leveraged community of visionaries and entrepreneurs from around the globe and need to build a strong advisory board for this venture. How would you best do this?


OK someone actually flagged me for spam??? I wrote a book on how to build advisory boards. It directly answers the question posed. I don't make my living off my book. I wrote it to help entrepreneurs. if you want help, then contact me. If not, then good luck. Wow!!

Answered 11 years ago

There are three stages to consider when deciding to build your advisory board.

1.) Design your board. Considerations at this stage include: your current stage, the vision, mission, and current strategy of the venture, the areas of expertise that you would like to gain access to, annual calendar of meetings, mission of the advisory board expectations of advisors, board compensation, and etc.

2.) Establish your board. Considerations at this include: prepare legal documents from the advisory board charter to NDAs and indemnity agreements, identifying who you wish to pursue to invite and carrying out the invitation-interview processes, establishing an on boarding process that is well thought out and thorough to ensure you maximize the opportunity for parties.

3.) Facilitating the engagement of your board. Considerations at this stage are: honoring the annual calendar of meetings, being thoroughly prepared, disseminating information 1-2 weeks prior to each meeting, allowing the board members time to be prepared for each meeting, best practice to use a non-executive chair for facilitating the meetings, enabling the ceo/founder/leadership to be fully engaged in the meeting and not worried about running the meeting. Carrying out regular peer reviews of all advisors and leadership engaged with the board. Additionally it is important to cultivate relationship by being a great communicator sending out regular updates with the team and connecting with the advisors individually (and/or corporately).

Looking forward to discussing further >>

Answered 9 years ago

An entrepreneur can use an advisory board to weather current challenges and opportunities. For example, a chef entrepreneur about to open a new restaurant may decide to form an advisory board to gain expertise in marketing, human resources and construction and design -- skills that a culinary type would not necessarily possess. In forming the advisory board, the entrepreneur should carefully consider his or her critical knowledge gaps to identify appropriate advisors. No entrepreneur needs yes men disguised as advisory board members.
The most ideal advisors have the entrepreneur’s best interests at heart. And so, they are not afraid to give advice -- even if it contradicts the thinking of the entrepreneur. Because the feedback can be brutally honest, entrepreneurs may wish to avoid picking advisors who are close friends or family members. Initially, identifying potential advisors can seem like a daunting task. These individuals are familiar with the owner and likely would be willing to serve as advisors. To the extent a particular need cannot be met by someone in the entrepreneur’s network, referrals can seek. After identifying potential advisory board candidates, the entrepreneur should carefully vet them to ensure that they would be a good fit. Advisors should not only have the technical knowledge but also a desire to help the entrepreneur. Plus, there should be good chemistry between a potential advisor and the entrepreneur. While advisory boards are generally less formal than governing boards, the entrepreneur should protect his or business. Advisors will be privy to highly confidential information about business plans, intellectual property, and trade secrets. They become involved because of their desire to help the entrepreneur -- and perhaps feel good about mentoring someone in need of their expertise. Advisors who feel appreciated will put forth their best effort. Entrepreneurs should seek out three to five advisors with the necessary skills to meet the current challenges. Then the entrepreneur can seek new advisors with the needed skills. Advisors who are no longer relevant or contributing as needed should be retired. Asking advisors to step down is not easy. So, setting term limits for advisors is a good approach. This will result in less drama and stress and allow the entrepreneur to easily rotate advisors as needs change. Advisors can provide valuable feedback and recommendations -- if they are prepared before meetings. All relevant information such as business plans, financial statements and other reports should go to advisors well in advance of board meetings. If the entrepreneur provides advisors interim information such as monthly financial and other reports, however, board members can remain informed.
Besides if you do have any questions give me a call:

Answered 4 years ago

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