In bringing your agency's advisory board together, it's important to be clear on the role the board will fulfil. Consider the advice and ideas here, and develop a very short briefing that you can provide to all board members and refresh their memory with from time to time.
As before when we discuss boards for fast-moving small businesses, let's turn to tech startups.
Mark Suster, an entrepreneur turned venture capitalist, says:
"The functions of a board are to: Periodically have to summarise how your business performed in the last period (often quarterly, in the early days sometimes it’s monthly). Force you to think strategically about what you want to accomplish in the period ahead. Gives you a chance yourself to pull up from 1,000 feet to 20,000 feet so you can look above the clouds and think about where you’re heading. If you get a smart person on the board — just having a sparring partner with a vested interest in your success can be useful."
Tech CEO Matt Blumberg agrees:
"Outside views and suggestions and healthy debate, as long as the incentives are aligned, people are smart, and founders manage the discussion well — can be enormously productive for a business."
The healthy debate mentioned there is a key purpose for the board — giving the CEO a wider range of views, and dissenting opinions, than they might normally hear within the company.
Jeffery Sonnenfeld, of the Yale School of Management, has studied effective boards and says: