In our consulting practice we often work with advisory councils. In one case, we worked with an advisory council that had been in existence for over a decade. Where they once played an especially active role in the organization, they were finding they were in more of a “responsive” role. “Responsive” seemed like a better word than “reactive,” but the reality was that the members of the advisory council were indicating that they were less engaged than they would like to be and unsure about their role going forward.
We suggested that they use an upcoming meeting of the council to talk about what the role of the advisory council could be moving forward. Among the questions we suggested for that meeting were:
- What do we think we can offer of value to the organization?
- How might we play a more proactive role (as opposed to being responsive or reactive) in supporting the organization?
- As we look to the future, what do we see our role being as an advisory council and as members?
We suggested that the board go through a similar discussion at their next meeting too. In their case, we encouraged them to consider how an advisory committee might help them with their work. The advisory council had the potential to be of tremendous benefit to the board and to the organization, but it was important to clarify their role.
If your advisory council seems to be drifting, or showing signs that the members aren’t engaged any longer (poor attendance is just one warning sign), maybe it is time to ask questions like these of your advisory council or your board.
Visit the Starboard website: www.starboardleadership.com and check-out the blog section of our site for more guidance and suggestions for you and your advisory council, or feel free to get in touch using the contact form on our site.