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The Benefits of Having an Advisory Board

Advisory boards are a great way to have access to a select group of industry experts and thought leaders. These people are close at hand when needed, but do not have voting rights in your organization.

Publisher Environmental Leader introduced an advisory board last week consisting of end-users, vendors, consultants and academics. “I expect our brands will be able to develop better, more targeted content for readers,” President and Publisher Paul Nastu stated on the company website.

Advisory boards also can be used to help companies expand their knowledge and footprint in specific markets. For example, consulting firm Strategic Decisions Group launched a China Advisory Board this month to help its staff do a better job of serving clients with operations in that region.

Unlike board-of-director members, advisory board members are not compensated financially for their time. They accept the position based on the prestige they receive and the value they can bring to the table. Being an advisory board member may give them access to the other members as well, which is another perk. Some businesses have both an advisory board and a board of directors.

Jesse Torres, a financial services consultant, published a helpful article on in which he lists “8 steps to creating an effective advisory board,” including recruiting doubters: i.e., people who disagree with you—you don’t want a bunch of “yes men” on your advisory board—and being mindful of people’s time.

Technology and governance expert Barry J. Reiter (of Bennett Jones) reminds us that, while advisory boards are really helpful for startups, even established industry leaders can benefit from having access to targeted, high-quality advice.


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    Over 70% of Executives Surveyed Agree: Many Strategic Planning Efforts Lack Systematic Approach Tips for Enhancing Your Strategic Planning Process

    Executives expressed frustration with their current strategic planning process. Issues include:

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    Steve Rutan and Denise Harrison have put together an afternoon workshop that will provide the tools you need to address these concerns.  They have worked with hundreds of executives to develop a systematic approach that will enable your team to make better decisions during strategic planning.  Steve and Denise will walk you through exercises for prioritizing your lists and steps that will reset and reinvigorate your process.  This will be a hands-on workshop that will enable you to think about your business as you use the tools that are being presented.  If you are ready for a Strategic Planning tune-up, select this workshop in your registration form.  The additional fee of $695 will be added to your total.

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    Female leaders face the same issues all leaders do, but they often face additional challenges too. In this peer session, we will facilitate a discussion of best practices and how to overcome common barriers to help women leaders be more effective within and outside their organizations. 

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    General’s Retreat, built in 1986 with architect Gary Roger Baird, has been voted the “Best Golf Course in Nashville” and is a “must play” when visiting the Nashville, Tennessee area. With the beautiful setting along the Cumberland River, golfers of all capabilities will thoroughly enjoy the golf, scenery and hospitality.

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