Unfakeable – Why Authenticity in Business Matters

Thought Leadership Articles

Published 15 July 2020

I have a soft spot for family businesses. I get my entrepreneurial spirit from my parents who turned their business ventures into family adventures.

They navigated difficult and often uncertain situations with determination and a hefty dose of bravery. They didn’t always get it right and not every outcome was a success. But they never compromised their integrity or the authentic approach.

Authenticity is our Anchor

The Bulla Dairy “unfakeable” positioning really resonates with me. Beyond clever marketing, unfakeable shares the family story and defines a strong foundation for the company and its vision. Source: https://www.bulla.com.au/

Authenticity is our anchor in the work we do at the Advisory Board Centre. From supporting the global advisory sector with a principles-led, best-practice, foundation to the joy that comes from sharing knowledge with others – our actions and words are congruent with our beliefs and values.

Anyone that has seen me speak knows that I get emotional talking about the entrepreneurial journey and the impact that a high-quality Advisory Board can have on business owners and executives.

I know what it feels like to have big ideas fuelled by ambition and a desire to make an impact. The deep level of responsibility that business owners take when they hire employee 1 (or 100!). The care and responsibility you feel for the people that join you on the journey – as employees, customers and supporters. The bravery it takes to recognise the edges of your own knowledge and open yourself up to external insight and advice.

Who wouldn’t well up with pride at the power of enterprise and innovation in action?

How are we adding value today?

Supporting organisations at a board level is not transactional. Quality Advisors are willing to regularly ask themselves – “how am I adding value today?” and ask of the organisations they serve – “was that valuable for you?”

As we all continue to navigate an uncertain future, a critical quality will be finding new ways to make volatility your friend. There will be a lot of activity, streams of information, and a new landscape to consider. Both Directors and Business Owners will be looked upon for their strong leadership.

Directors – stakeholders, the market, and the organisation itself will be looking to you to make confident, well-considered decisions fast.

Business Owners – employees and supply chains will be looking for you to trade in a business as usual way when it is far from it.

Many leaders will look to collaborate with external Advisors to support their thinking and provide innovative insight into problem-solving for what lies ahead.

So I ask you to please consider the way you engage with external Advisors. The advisory community is a valuable resource for you at this time. We understand your concerns on whom you should trust and how you should engage.

I ask you to expect the Advisor community to step up in this environment and be mindful of the advice being provided. Look for their credentials, their currency in the market, their connectivity with people in the know, the frameworks they use to engage and how they invest in their own thought leadership development.

When you do engage, please let them in to be of service to you, to collaborate and support you with your challenging road ahead.

Regularly assessing our actions and words against our beliefs and values is what will drive authentic value and purpose. And that is simply unfakeable.


PS. While the work we do is serious, we try not to take ourselves too seriously. And that is a welcome relief for many executives and directors who often carry the weight of the organisation on their shoulders. It was wonderful to see how this approach really resonates within our Certified Chair Executive Program™.