You just wrapped up a client advisory council meeting – discussions were dynamic, everyone was engaged, and as a result there are many ideas and potential actions to move forward. It’s exciting and daunting at the same time. How do you decide what is actionable and what isn’t? Here are three things to consider as you operationalize all of the great input from advisory council meetings.
Have a plan. This sounds like a basic step, but you really do need to create a system for documenting the feedback from Advisory Council meetings. Detail what the action is, who it came from, who is responsible for progressing the action, and the status. Without a plan it is difficult to ensure consistent follow up and close out actions. Engage executives where needed to help drive the actions in sales and marketing functions where you may not have the reach.
Not all actions are created equal. Some actions are short term, one and done, and you can check it off the list. Some have a longer tail or require additional ideation or input. Those longer-term actions could be great to bring into a working group where you can pull together a subset of the council, or even members of their teams, to help generate additional perspectives and move the action forward. It is also ok if you decide that some ideas raised during a meeting just won’t be acted upon if they don’t align to core strategies of the council sponsor company.
Report back on progress. Spend some time thinking about when and how you are going to report back to the council on progress against the actions. Some councils create a segment that is included in the next meeting’s pre-reading materials, or another approach is to kick off the following session with a verbal report on previously identified actions and how they have progressed in between meetings. Council members share that one of the benefits of being part of a council is providing advice and guidance to the sponsor company. There is no better way to show that you take their input seriously than to share how it is used to move something forward.
What are some of the approaches you have used to move your council actions forward?