Always Recruiting: The Secret to a Successful Advisory Board

If there is one thing we have learned about Client Advisory Board membership recruiting it is that you are never done.  While the initial blast of recruiting needed to get your Board off to the right start is most critical and time consuming, sustaining membership over time requires ongoing and consistent attention.

Guidelines to help your Board membership challenges.

  1. Maintain a live pipeline – actively solicit nominations and proactively target potential members among your client base, even if you have no open slots.  Revisit your pipeline targets once a quarter.
  2. Systematize recruiting – embed the Client Advisory Board nomination process into your quarterly client review calls or integrate it into monthly leadership meetings so that it becomes part of the ongoing conversation.
  3. Enlist senior leadership support – Advisory Board recruiting happens most effectively and efficiently when your senior leaders make it clear that this is a top priority for the business.
  4. Prioritize diversity – the most effective Boards are diverse Boards. Build a pipeline across industry, geography, gender and race. We’ve run hundreds of Boards and our most productive and enjoyable are also the most diverse.
  5. Set term limits – having explicit term limits for your Board or Council members helps to manage the flow and the expectations of members for their service on the Board and creates a cadence for keeping the recruiting effort alive. It also allows you to roll off less effective members, when their term limits are met.

Like starting anything new, the initial process of establishing a Board pipeline is challenging. By systematizing it you will find it starts to operate almost on its own as a well-oiled machine.

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