A Board Success Factor:
Business and Industry Expertise

Sometimes we all need to take a moment and stop to reflect upon what we are doing and why. The constant go-go-go of our businesses and personal lives don’t often give time for reflection, thinking or even an extra moment to breathe.

On a recent call with a CIO and advisory board member, he took the time to share with me his experiences in working with our firm and how much he looks forward to taking 30 minutes out of his day to speak with us about where he’s focusing the future of his business. He also shared how important it is that we—as an outside consulting firm—bring tremendous depth of knowledge of his profession (CIO), his industry and macro business trends to our advisory board work.

Too often, companies place the management of customer advisory board operations lower down in the organization without the guidance of an experienced executive or an external consulting partner.

Inevitably, the result is a tactical operation of the board, and with this comes a correspondingly tactical level of engagement. This can result in the loss of valued board participants who seek to engage at a peer level.

Simply hiring a firm or tasking an individual with the mechanics of a board misses the point. Those that you partner with in delivering your board should provide significant value to the content of your agendas and engage deeply with your board members to help you advance your business.

Three Characteristics that Board Leaders & Partners Need

Here are three characteristics that you should look for when considering a board partner to help you deliver meaningful and lasting results.

1. Business Acumen

  • Does your Customer Advisory Board partner have a depth of understanding of business issues affecting your business?
  • Do they have experiences and expertise to draw upon while in discussions with your most senior clients?
  • Can your partner bring to the table innovative ideas for how to elevate the business discussion and access new thinking?

2. Industry / Domain Expertise

    • Does your customer advisory board partner have some level of depth in understanding your industry, and the industries of your clients?
    • When they speak to your clients are they able to uncover insights that are otherwise not explored by you and your company?

3. Executive Presence

      • Does your customer advisory board partner have the combination of gravitas, communication and appearance to operate at a peer level with your senior most clients and senior executives in your organization?
      • Can that individual facilitate a meaningful discussion that brings forward advice and new thinking, and are they confident enough to present it back to you as the client?

Farland Group focuses heavily on the above three elements as we believe they are important capabilities for successful consulting in order to bring the maximum value to our client’s customer advisory boards.

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