Why I Joined An Advisory Board

The motivation to join an advisory board is as varied as the boards and the doctors, nurses, and pharmacists that make them up. For this blog post, we reached out to a few of the pros we’ve worked with in the past to find out what brought them into the advisory board fold.

(Note: we changed the names of the people we spoke to for this post, as we didn’t want their opinions compromising any of their future advisory board work.)

“The process fascinates me” — Donald P., RPH, Mississauga, ON
“When my customers have questions, I like to have answers for them. I know the science behind the medication, but not the stories. Being on the boards lets me in on those stories and gives me a chance to help write them. It’s very interesting.”

It’s true ⎯ an advisory board can be a very interesting experience for everyone involved, and a Longitudinal Expert Engagement Plan™ lets you craft the story you want to share and deliver it in an organized way. This is in stark contrast to the “one-off” meeting model that most pharmaceutical advisory boards take where they throw things against the wall for six hours and hope something sticks. That’s a fascinating process for a whole different reason.

“I like a challenge” Dr. Matrice, Montréal, PQ
“So many cases I see are fairly easy and run-of-the-mill. Advisory boards let me put my thinking cap on. They let me solve complex problems. And they let me do it with other people, which is the best.”

We got variations of this response a lot in our research and it made us very happy because it validated our belief that medicine is about pushing further and harder. When you’re planning out a Longitudinal Expert Engagement Plan™or your next advisory board, don’t pack it full of softballs. Build in a few challenging touchpoints that your board members have to really think about. And do the same for conversations. If one of your members posts something puzzling on the Impetus InSite Platform®, don’t let it go. Come back at them (respectfully, of course) and demand they defend their position.

“Networking” — Samrit S., RN, Mississauga, ON
“I’m a young nurse and new to Canada. Advisory boards are a great place to meet others in my industry. You never know where a connection could be made or where it can go. And it puts me around smart people, which is always a bonus.”

Advisory boards make for great networking ⎯ especially if you can offer your members ways to connect more than three times a year on a platform like the Impetus InSite Platform®. To that end, you’d be wise to include some group work touchpoints over the course of a year.

If you can, try to mix and match the teams on group touchpoints so everyone gets a chance to work directly with everyone else at least once. For them, it’s a chance to broaden horizons. For you, it’s the potential to make magic happen; as Samrit said, “you never know.”

“It’s good money” — Dr. Jonas, Swift Current SK
“Being a GP in a small city has its perks, but a ‘doctor’s salary’ isn’t one of them. Advisory boards help pay the bills.

A surprising percentage of medical professionals we spoke to pointed to the money as a “major contributing factor” to accepting a board position. But in order to attend a board meeting, they have to take time out of their busy clinic or family time, often with travel time on top of that. By using an asynchronous online process they can be compensated for the work that they do and the insights they provide, without compromising in other areas like family or clinic time.

Section of the Rx&D Code of Ethical Practices stipulates that “honorarium must be reasonable and reflect the fair market value of the services provided,” and we recommend that you take that seriously. Yes, your members should be paid, but over-offering will change their behavior and make them think they have to please you to “earn” the extra money ⎯ and you won’t get the results you want.

Like we said, the reasons vary ⎯ but the underlying quality of every member should be the same. They should want to be there and they should be excited to contribute.