Just what is an Advisory Board, and how is this differentiated from the various other corporate boards that are so freely discussed (if not understood) in the business world?
Peter Williams is Australia’s #1 authority on leveraging growth through business advisory boards. He is also the founder of the Australian Advisory Boards Institute and author of the book Are You Ready For Your Own Advisory Board?
With more than three decades of varied experiences behind him, Peter is a highly sought-after adviser and board member for companies across a wide range of industries. Peter’s strength is in his deep understanding of the challenges facing business owners and senior executives, and how to overcome them by having the right advice available when they need it.
Recently, Peter was interviewed for “The Experts” podcast series on the subject of Advisory Boards and the difference between these and other types of boards. Peter says that while Advisory Boards are in an embryonic stage in Australia, awareness is growing with regard to their form and function.
As one of the pioneers in bringing the concept of business advisory boards to Australia, Peter has played an active role in assisting many companies to set up structured, flexible boards to bring in knowledge and experience. He has helped businesses resolve internal disputes, adapt to changing market conditions, and break through stubborn growth ceilings.
Peter explained that with a traditional board, members are primarily concerned with governance and regulatory issues “so that the company doesn’t get into trouble,” referencing the kind of trouble we see in the press when companies run afoul of laws or regulatory standards.
“An Advisory Board on the other hand,” as Peter explains, “is a hybridization of that [and other board types], where you take the best experts, put them around a table and use them to support you—the CEO or business owner—in growing and scaling your business.” In other words, an Advisory Board is more concerned with operations, growth, and the overall health and success of the organisation than with fiduciary responsibilities and governance.
“It’s about performance, strategic direction and clarity,” Peter says, “and not about conformance and compliance.”
As one might expect, there are a lot of people out there who have cultivated invaluable knowledge about business practices or specific aspects thereof. They may be working in the business world, on its periphery or they may even be retired. Many of these are just the sort of individuals whose knowledge and experience could benefit businesses of varying sizes that are looking to engage Advisory Boards.
Peter says that he only has two qualifications for prospective Advisory Board members, “a passion for growth and a passion for learning. If they’ve got that, I’d be happy to talk with them.”
If you’re interested in improving your value proposition and income streams through an advisory board membership, you may contact the Australian Advisory Boards Institute at https://australianadvisoryboards.com/chair/strategy/.