Let’s not confuse Advisory Boards with Boards of Directors (BOD) – there are some very real differences. Without getting into the myriad of regulatory requirements of Sarbanes-Oxley, Dodd-Frank, major stock exchange governance and the like that public companies must comply there are many dynamics that hold true for CEOs of SMBs and their BOD – the tenor with an Advisory Board – if you have one – is very different.
Just a few of the “plain English” distinctions, hopefully some well-intended humor and how each “help” you …
Board of Directors
Who: These are the people you invite to your barbeque because you had little choice.
Characteristics: Successful, intelligent, you had to invite them, annoying, nosey, half-empty, negative, all about me, untrusting, paranoid, etc.
Objectives: Highlight what you did do that was wrong and what you didn’t do that you should have.
Mission: Affix blame; find reasons to fire you.
Who: These are the people you invite to your barbeque because you want them there.
Characteristics: Successful, intelligent, you want them there, embraceable, inquisitive, half-full, positive, your success, trusted, balanced, etc.
Objectives: Highlight what you did do that was right and how to leverage.
Mission: Fix problems; find ways to promote your success.
I’m quite certain you aren’t looking for more meetings, nonetheless, I strongly urge all SMBs, all my clients to form an Advisory Board, if you haven’t already.
A capable, trusted Advisory Board will pay handsome dividends, go a long way towards solutions (e.g. – connect with strategic partners, raise capital, compliment strategic vision, deal with zealous equity holders and/or disgruntled minority shareholders, bring solutions to your day-to-day problems they’ve already solved — to name just a few) that the gals and guys on that other board … sometimes – are not so predisposed.
Surely you can carve out ½ to a whole day, out of your office, perhaps once a quarter, no?
Choose your trusted advisors for the board you do want carefully and that will go a long way towards achieving your dream – I have no doubt.