The beginning of a new year brings fresh starts, clean slates, and time to examine what works and what doesn’t work in any number of settings, be it your personal life or your work life. In our work on customer advisory boards and councils, there are many areas that can benefit from this sort of introspective examination.
From a program management perspective, take a good look at processes. Are there things that you have been doing just because ‘it’s the way it has always been done’? The way it has always been done does necessarily equate to the best way. Are there processes that can be streamlined, combined, or cut out entirely? It is good to look at things with a fresh eye. You may find that there are activities that you keep doing over and over again, but they don’t add value and are time wasters. If the end result must be ‘x’, are there ways to get to that end state that are more efficient and less painful?
The same advice applies to customer advisory board meeting agendas; the start of the new year provides an opportunity to assess meeting and content formats. One may ask, if you have had success with an agenda formula, why change it? Sometimes it is good to get out ahead and shift something before it actually needs to be adjusted. In our conversations with board members, we hear that they are always on the lookout for new experiences, or new ideas that encourage different thinking.
Here are some things to consider in shifting your meeting agenda:
- Add an offsite experience
- Introduce smaller group discussions
- Host a meeting at a Board member location
While it will require more planning and logistical legwork from the internal customer advisory board team, these types of shifts can energize the whole group and create opportunities for learning and sharing.
The new year provides a chance to think outside of the box and instill some fresh ideas to revamp your customer advisory board operations.