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  • Writer's pictureGreg Major

What is an Advisory Board?

Updated: Aug 15, 2023

Advisory Board Meeting

An advisory board is a group of external experts and advisors who provide non-binding strategic advice, guidance, support, and recommendations to a company's management team. It is a group of individuals who have diverse skills, knowledge, expertise, and experience that can help a business to grow and succeed.

Advisory boards can be formed for different purposes and can include members from various fields such as finance, marketing, law, technology, and more. These boards can be invaluable for businesses that are looking to expand or for those that are facing particular challenges.

Benefits of having an Advisory Board

An Advisory Board can provide numerous benefits to a company. First, it can bring fresh perspectives and new ideas to the table. The members of the board can offer objective feedback, constructive criticism, and alternative solutions to problems that a company may face. This can help the company to avoid potential pitfalls and make better decisions.

For a growing company, an Advisory Board can also provide access to valuable networks and resources. The members of the board can introduce the company to new contacts, potential customers, investors, and partners. For startups and small businesses, access to these networks can be critical to their success.

An Advisory Board may also provide credibility and legitimacy to the company. The presence of respected and accomplished individuals on the board can enhance the company's reputation and attract new business opportunities. This can be particularly important in industries where reputation is everything.

How to set up an Advisory Board

Setting up an Advisory Board can be a detailed process that requires careful planning and execution to ensure the best outcome. The first step is to identify the purpose and goals of the Advisory Board. The company needs to define what it hopes to achieve by establishing the Board and what kind of expertise and skills it needs from the members.

The second step is to establish the structure and governance of the Advisory Board. The company needs to define the roles and responsibilities of the Board members, the frequency of meetings, and the decision-making process. This ensures that the Advisory Board is effective in achieving its goals. This is best achieved through the development of an Advisory Board Charter.

The next step is to identify potential members who can contribute to the Board's purpose and goals. The company should look for individuals who have relevant experience, knowledge, and connections in the industry. This can be done by reaching out to personal or professional networks, or by advertising the position on job boards, industry forums of via the Advisory Board Centre’s Concierge Service.

The last stage is to onboard the Advisory Board members and provide them with the necessary orientation and training. The company should ensure that the members understand their roles and responsibilities and have access to the relevant company information and resources. This can be done through an orientation session.

All of the above steps are best managed with the assistance of an experienced Advisory Board Centre Certified Chair.


An Advisory Board can be an invaluable asset for a company that wants to innnovate, transform and grow. It can provide strategic advice, fresh perspectives, valuable networks, and enhanced credibility.

Setting up an Advisory Board is a process to be managed with some care and consideration, but it can pay off in the long run. A well-structured and well-managed Advisory Board can help a company to overcome challenges, seize opportunities, and achieve its goals. By following the steps outlined above, businesses can set up an Advisory Board that is effective and efficient, and that can help them to succeed in their industry.

Please contact me if you would like further information about how an Advisory Board can help with your company growth plans, business advice, projects or other challenges or visit our Governance and Advisory Boards page for more information.


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