A mid economic upheaval and increasing challenges, what is the best source of sound, applicable counsel available to the CEO? This is a simple question, but of great importance for the development of small and mid-size businesses (SMEs). At different times a leader may want to use specialized expertise, generate a strategic decision or strengthen discussion around business development. There are many possible sources of professional advice; the executive team, shareholders, peers, professional advisors, family, etc. each have its pros and cons, but an Interim C-Level Executive can certainly provide the kind of results Leaders of small and midsize businesses can expect from their chosen soothsayer.
By working with many CEOs over the years on several specific projects, many clients understood C-Levels to be a higher level and strategic guidance of a more general nature. There seems to be a growing demand for such comprehensive high-level advice, which is not available to any one person. This contemporary body of research was sponsored and shared. This gives a staggering revelation of the kind of impact that experienced consulting business can have on productivity and profitability.
Although large organizations often have a board of directors, many SMEs are not in a position to use the benefits of such a formal structure, for several reasons. However, it is well within the capacity of a small to medium-sized organization to employ the services of an advisory board. It is a relatively straightforward way of accessing expertise, know-how and depth of experience, and yet it is a far more flexible approach, especially if the leader of an organization is focused on getting further perspectives and guidance, as opposed to rear-view oversight which was practiced by most corporate boards.
The outstanding feature of the BDC methodology is their use of metrics to determine the value of the use of advisory boards. Two major highlights of the research found that organizations with an advisory board reported that they enjoyed 24% higher sales and 18% higher productivity than the higher board less’ control group. 86% of these SMEs were also “respondents who benefited from the advice of their advisory board and believe that it had a significant impact on their company”. Those results speak volumes. So far BDC reports that only 6% of American SMEs have formed advisory boards to assist them. The study concludes that “the role, operations and benefits of this governance tool should be highly promoted to American business leaders to help them better manage their company’s success.”
Based on this trailblazing study, and by tapping into the depth and breadth of the talent pool at C-Level, we have developed a consistent approach to help clients actively establish their own advisory board. This approach reduces time, effort, and risk; and provides immediate direction by focusing on upcoming major issues; be it vision, profitability, increased sales, strategic initiatives or enhanced transactions.
Have you considered the benefits of an advisory board? Care to see the findings of the entire BDC research? Potential benefits are indisputable.