In a previous blog, we looked at questions to consider when selecting potential board members. Now it’s time to create the group dynamic that will serve you best.
Getting to Know Your Advisory Board Members
Yes, your advisory board should function as a collective, but don’t forget that they’re individuals with individual personalities you can leverage to make the group more engaged and productive.
Choosing a Chair
Considering personal dynamics is most important when choosing a chairperson and sub-chairpeople. It might be tempting to pick the most senior person on the board to lead it, or the person with the most board experience — but that might be a mistake because seniority and experience don’t equate to leadership capabilities.
When choosing a chairperson, look for someone who can get along with just about everyone and who can bring out the best in others. You’ll get a sense of that when you speak with them, and if you think they might be chair-worthy, ask a few questions to that effect: how they manage people you respect professionally but might not like personally; how they motivate people to keep going after a disappointment; what leadership means to them.
Some of your advisors will be more outgoing than others. By identifying who they are, you can use them to coax the more wallflower-types into participating more regularly. Though the Impetus InSite Platform® you can engage members specifically. So if you’re looking for opinions from a less-than-vocal member, you can reach out to them and a more-vocal member so you can work on that person together. But make sure you choose a vocal member whose style gels with the non-vocal member. If kid gloves make sense, enlist a more gentile member. At the same time, if you think a non-vocal member needs a swift kick, bring in a heavy hitter to help you out.
Presenting to Advisory Board Members
When it comes time to share your advisory board’s findings and opinions, how the opinions are delivered is just as important as what’s being said. The mood in the room can make difficult news easier to take, and vice versa.
Pick positive people to represent your advisory board. Make sure they know how to take negative feedback with grace, and that they won’t fight back if challenged by the people paying for their expertise.
How do you consider personal dynamics when choosing advisory board members?