Advisory boards can be utilized for departments and programs as well as for the overall organization. Departments, managers, and staff can benefit from bringing in outside experts to provide advice. And while one advisor may be good, in these situations multiple advisors may be even better.
1. The executive director or department manager is afraid she will “miss” something or needs people to support her where she is weak. Form an advisory board comprised of people with expertise where the Executive Director or manager is weak.
2. The executive director or department manager is young and the position is a stretch. Instead of hiring a coach form an advisory board.
3. The executive director and/or the department manager are making decisions that are being second guessed. Form an advisory board focused on the development of a better decision-making process and to serve as a sounding board.
4. The program staff has a new program ready to launch but needs advice and guidance from the executive director. But the executive Director has no bandwidth. Instead form an advisory board comprised of educators and program people.
5. The organization is experiencing frequent embarrassing human resource-related mistakes with severe legal ramifications i.e. bad hires, high turnover, sexual harassment issues and the like. Form an advisory board weighted with HR and legal types to review the processes, departments and managers.
6. The organization needs to atoledo renovate or expand its facilities. Form an advisory board comprised of facility managers, engineers, architects and perhaps an accountant to advise on the facility planning.
7. Departments are continually missing key external deadlines and are losing credibility with constituents, donors. and funders. Form an advisory board made up of representatives effected to advise on best practices.
8. The organization is receiving increased complaints about the quality of their staff or service. Form an advisory board to advise on quality control standards and procedures.
9. The organization was sued for a matter that was preventable had external advice, besides legal, been sought. Form an advisory board comprised of individuals with varied skills and experience to advise on best practices.
Susan C. Hammond, principal of scHammond Advisors, consults with nonprofits on board governance, strategic planning, improving financial intelligence, and the formation of advisory boards or councils. She is a consultant, speaker, facilitator, and author. She previously served as the CFO for a museum and other nonprofit organizations. Susan recently published the Advisory Board Kit: A Comprehensive Guide to Establishing an Advisory Board.
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- scHammond Advisors Announces… Free Advisory Board Consulting! (thenon-profittoolbox.com)