Checking In On Our Promise

Thought Leadership Articles

Published 15 December 2022

Louise Broekman

CEO & Founder, Advisory Board Centre

It was during five years of research, testing, and validating of the advisory sector in the lead-up to 2017 that I had the good fortune of chairing some incredibly unique advisory boards. One was Greg Nathan’s Franchise Relationships Institute. I learnt so much from Greg, particularly how to “focus on excellence and beauty in all work you do”.

This year was our fifth birthday as the global professional body for the advisory board sector. We refreshed our brand to reflect who we are – our culture, purpose, values, and who we are on the inside. The refresh was a really conscious decision and one that has been central to elevating the platform that we provide for our community (you!) to be able to go forth and achieve their advisory board goals.

In reflecting on 2022, I thought I would revisit the beautiful work our team did in bringing it to life and check in on our promise to raise the standard of the advisory board sector.

The rapid development of the advisory board sector continues to gain momentum in every corner of the market – we are now in twenty-three countries! With this, comes responsibility from each and every one of us to ensure we “do the right thing.” Our members are also expanding their portfolios of work, and it is thrilling (and in some cases, a learning experience) to hear about the new markets explored and boards joined and/or created.

Our Advisor Concierge has become a dependable support service to members and organisations alike, with more than 1,000 organisations utilising the service since its inception. Similarly, we have received over 1,000 Business Growth Score report requests, which has enabled us to measure priorities and understand the impact of advisory boards which ultimately feeds our research agenda to keep in touch with the market.

The community spark was certainly re-ignited this year with the Megatrends Summit, our first major event since the pandemic. It was an action-packed program and a true demonstration of the quality of thought leadership within the community. My deep gratitude to everyone who contributed, especially those who travelled from overseas to take part.

A standout community highlight for me this year was the opportunity in October to meet our members and partner businesses in Singapore – the level of activity and opportunity in this region is booming!

Facilitated by seasoned advisory board experts, this year our Certified Chair™ Executive Program has been delivered globally to hundreds of professionals. Each member of our faculty actively participates in the advisory space, ensuring their currency and meaningful international context – and it resonates, with an average feedback rating of 90% and member referrals increasing markedly.

We have evolved our ongoing professional development program as part of membership to now have over forty hours available to members. The uptake of our best practice workshops has doubled in participation and our Drawing Board series continues to have a committed following of members eager to question and dissect current market commentary. This is a good indicator of knowledge sharing, peer mentoring, and real stories being exchanged within the community.

As an increasingly global organisation, it’s refreshing to see activity driven by community members on the ground in local markets. I thank our Community Chairs who support our local members and host meetings within regions across the world. The age-old adage (but never more true than now) of “think global, act local” is exciting to see in action.

Our community is growing largely because of referrals from within our network itself…again another adage that’s extremely fitting pops to mind, “good people know good people”! As we continue to grow, the support of each other in this community will help us to raise the standard of the sector, making us stronger and remaining connected. This vision has been bolstered by our state-of-the-art community platform launched in 2021, Advisory Board World, which is enabling real-time collaboration in a meaningful way.

Fellow (FABC) recognition was launched earlier this year to establish an exclusive community of accomplished and endorsed Certified Chairs™. A rigorous application process is another step in professionalising the sector.

Market indicators of the maturing of the sector include the regulations for advisory boards within the aged care sector. I would like to thank the Aged Care Advisory Board and our own Ethics Advisory Board for their insight and robust debate in shaping the sector.

So, with a bold start in our first five years, our one-hundred-year strategy is on the right course. We are just getting started! Our drive to make a difference and raise the standard of the sector will be stronger than ever in 2023.

With Certified Chair™ Executive Programs in 2023 scheduled every month – virtual in several timezones and in-person in Singapore, the United Kingdom, the United States (both coasts), and new cities in Australia – our global community and the spreading of best practice is in line with the growth of the sector. Programs are already filling up well in advance for the next quarter.

Over the next few months, we will be in research mode for our next State of the Market Global Report, due for release in May 2023. If you have a story to share from your experiences in the advisory space (what works and what doesn’t), I am keen to hear from you as we increase our understanding of this sector from an unbiased view.

In signing off for 2022, thank you to our community, Community Chairs, internal advisory board members, Fellows, Faculty and above all, my team. Let the next chapter for 2023 begin – focusing on excellence and the beauty of advisory boards in changing business for the better.