So you’ve decided you want to create a customer advisory board or council. Once you have the value, purpose and mission established, and have recruited some of your top clients as members, what next? The meeting agenda!
When we participate in our initial client call to get the ball rolling on agenda development, we often discuss the importance of a co-created agenda — a meeting agenda that includes topics that both the sponsoring company (board meeting host) and members (the host’s clients) have prioritized and are interested in. There are a few reasons why this matters, and why our agenda development process at Farland Group is successful:
- Crafting a Balanced Agenda. Everyone attending the meeting is spending time out of their office and away from their business, so it’s essential that agenda topics pique the interest of the majority. Farland Group’s process is unique in that we conduct phone calls with the board host, but also with members of the board. This gives us a balanced agenda.
- Gathering Input from Both Sides. This is a 2-way street. First, we discuss with the board host the top areas where they need advice or would like feedback. Once we have a broad set of topics for a given meeting, we then discuss those topics on 1×1 interviews with board members. This ensures that our board host, and board members, have a chance to share their priorities and interests.
- Iteration. Once Farland Group has gathered input from several board participants, we evolve the agenda topics based on what we learned from the calls.
Co-creating the agenda, and in an iterative process, leads to a productive meeting because everyone sitting around the table has skin in the game — they’re all interested in and have contributed to the final agenda. Value is obtained on both sides; the meeting host receives candid, thoughtful and transparent advice, and board members have the opportunity to influence strategies that matter most to them and their organizations. It’s why co-creating a meeting agenda matters.