Corporate AdvisoryGeneral Business

What is Expected of an Advisory Board Member?

The expectations you have for your advisory board members will largely depend on the expectations you have for your board. Nevertheless, for board meetings to be conducted with direction, communicating the individual expectations of your members is key.

Here are some things you should consider when outlining the roles, responsibilities and expectations of your board members.

Roles and Responsibilities

Below is a checklist example of what some of the roles and responsibilities of your advisory board members may include. Of course, you should tailor this to the wider expectations you have for your advisory board.

  • Make recommendations that support the business’ overall strategic plan.
  • Help to assess the current problems and demands your company is facing.
  • Advise and provide counsel around performance issues.
  • Evaluate your current business practices and provide solutions for areas that require improvement.
  • Serve as an advocate for your business and its programs, services and products.
  • Aid communication between other institutions and the community.
  • Offer feedback and advice around your various programs, tasks and projects.
  • Offer assistance with marketing.
  • Provide guidance when recruiting new board members.
  • Identify and acquire resources and external funding, where appropriate.
  • Identify and present new opportunities for business growth and development.
  • Offer recommendations for board meeting topics.
  • Review the agenda before board meetings.
  • Stay informed about services, programs, products and other business activities.
  • Communicate and share any developments in the industry/field.
  • Provide advice on best practice standards.
  • Exchange information and ideas with other experts and professionals in the field and any other external contacts.

While not an exhaustive list of the possible responsibilities of your advisory board members, these functions can be applicable to advisory boards of most descriptions. If you’d like a more comprehensive look at how to establish a successful board, contact us.

Personal Attributes and Characteristics

In order to successfully fulfill these responsibilities, it’s vital that your advisory board members be equipped with good leadership skills. These may include:

  • The ability to communicate effectively and clearly.
  • Listening, analysing and productively participating in board discussions.
  • The ability to provide constructive feedback.
  • Think logically and also creatively.
  • Ask questions, share ideas and opinions.
  • Offer experiences and personal anecdotes to qualify opinions.
  • Open doors to relevant networks and opportunities.
  • Be honest, willing and reliable.
  • Be receptive to and understanding of conflicting opinions.
  • Hold similar values to your company.
  • Have a sense of personal integrity.
  • Show interest in your business.

These fundamental personal characteristics and behaviours will ensure you board meetings are conducted positively and productively.

Meeting Set Schedules

An advisory board with members who don’t attend isn’t productive. If you’re in the process of selecting board members, clearly communicate the commitment expected from them. Being upfront with the details will ensure they make an informed decision, and one they don’t regret moving forward.

Having a working schedule of the year’s meetings will allow your board members to adjust their commitments ahead of time.


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Neil Parker
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