“Have you considered the idea of an advisory board?”
“The last thing I need is someone else telling me what to do,” says nearly every company owner we work with.
No one wants to be told what to do, least of all the owner of a company. After all, that is part of the reason you have taken on the risk to be an owner. To be the one to call the shots. The buck stops here.
I absolutely agree. You’ve built a successful company relying on your decision making and maybe a fortuitous bounce now and then, but for the most part, it is your guiding that has moved the ship along.
Where I disagree is the premise the “being told what to do” is the outcome of having an advisory board. While it is true that your advisors may have some different thoughts based on their experience and expertise – they aren’t there to “run your show”.
Advisory Board members are there to be just that, Advisory in their role. They are often CEOs of other companies and so they are just as busy as you are. They don’t have the time or interest in running your company and telling you what to do. If you pick the right folks, they are there to offer ideas, share experiences, be a sounding board, and (especially for family-owned firms) be there to fall on a sword or two along the way.
For a family-owned company, an Advisory Board is critical. Their independent voice can lend grease to the skids on succession planning, be the “fall guy” for implementing various family policies, and often be TVOR (The Voice of Reason) during family “discussions”.
Advisory Boards will theme of the day for our 1st Session of this year’s Breakfast Series. We kick off on September 18th and I hope you can join us as we talk with 3 family-owned firms that will share their experiences on having a board.
More info on our topic, panel, and registration is available here.