6 min read

What Is An Advisory Board?

By Lottie Wright on 23/02/23 16:59

An advisory Board is a group of expert individuals who offer advice to the management of an organisation. 

Advisory Boards are an advantage to businesses, as they offer more freedom in terms of administration and oversight than a Board of directors

They are often used by smaller companies as a way to gain insight and seek advice from others without the same costs or official protocols that larger Boards require. 

Advisory Boards are beneficial to the stakeholders of the organisation, as they provide a platform to hash out ideas and concepts.

In short, the purpose is in its name; to advise an organisation to help it achieve its goals.

What Is The Purpose Of An Advisory Board?

The primary purpose of an advisory Board is to fill a knowledge gap in the organisation. An advisory Board should support the goals and objectives of the organisation, provide expertise and oversight, and serve as a mentoring body using its skills as guidance. 

Advisory Boards are made up of experienced professionals who bring fresh ideas and different points of view to the table. Their input can be invaluable in setting objectives, improving performance, and determining the success of various initiatives.

When creating an advisory Board, the following aspects should be addressed to ensure it is operating at its most effective:

  • The type of advisory Board Members, who should have distinctive knowledge on different aspects of business that are of use to the organisation.
  • The focus of the Board, and whether this will be broad or more specific
  • The size of the Board, as a large advisory Board could result in managerial issues
  • The organisation of the Board meetings and their frequency, either quarterly or biannually, as this will help streamline the Board’s effectiveness

Roles and Responsibilities of Advisory Board Members

An effective advisory Board should strengthen the existing board, but not interfere with the operations of the Board of directors

Organisations should seek Board Members whose skills and qualities compliment their Board of directors, and whose knowledge provides new insight into the industry.

The roles and the responsibilities of the Board Members are to:

  • Understand the developing industry trends
  • Provide council on issues raised by Board managers
  • Provide insights and ideas from an outside perspective
  • Be a sounding board for new ideas within the organisation
  • Operate as a resource for the organisation’s executives
  • Encourage developing good governance that enables sustainable growth
  • Monitor the organisation’s performance
  • Impose challenges to help improve the organisation

Why Are Advisory Boards Important?

Establishing an advisory Board is important for your organisation for a multitude of reasons. 

An advisory Board can provide accountability to keep the organisation on track, as progress and improvements are reported.

It can also help prepare for a Board of directors, as organisations may choose to have an advisory Board first. They can then use it to assess the capabilities of individuals within the company before assigning them to the Board of directors.

An advisory Board can aid if an organisation’s Board of directors grows to an unmanageable size, as a smaller advisory Board may work more effectively and efficiently than a larger Board of directors.

Advisory Boards also provide a degree of consistency, longevity and background knowledge as their members supply reliable advice on specific issues.

It can mean less pressure on executives and on the organisation in the long run.


How Convene Can Help

For establishing an effective advisory Board, ensuring that the advisory Board meetings run smoothly is essential.

Here at Convene, we pride ourselves on our Award Winning Board Portal, that helps manage and streamline your meeting process so you can focus on the more important parts of running your advisory Board.

From creating an agenda to establishing a strong admin trail, every step of the process should be as smooth as possible.

Our comprehensive features include:

  • A Document Library, with role-based access to ensure your sensitive documents are protected.
  • A built-in Audit Trail, so you can be sure you are compliant with all regulations.
  • Integrated Video Conferencing, so you can make the switch from remote to hybrid working seamlessly, whilst still viewing your Board Pack all on one screen.
  • Surveys, with the option for anonymity, so you can be sure you are aware of your employees' opinions.
  • Action Items, so you can follow up on any tasks automatically.
  • Accessibility Features, including text-to-voice, which makes us the leading accessible Board Portal.
  • Fully GDPR-compliant security, including AES 256-bit encryption and ISO 27001 accreditation.

Our software now also comes as an integration with Microsoft Teams, which provides the benefits of both Teams and a Board Portal so your organisation at every level can enjoy streamlined communication.

To find out more about how Convene can help your organisation, read our customer success stories or book a demo.

Lottie Wright

Written by Lottie Wright

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