Problems, opportunities, and uncertainty aren’t new concepts. Given the last few years we have endured, it certainly feels like there are more being thrown at us and if the unrelenting news cycle is our barometer, you’d argue that these unknowns are bigger, juicier, and consistent.
With this common theme of volatility, what has struck us is the flexibility that we are observing across the globe that organisations are embracing to address them. As we emerge from a global pandemic, organisations are dealing with economic factors, geopolitical considerations, and ever-increasing social and environmental agendas. Solving these problems and creating strategies that produce opportunity in this environment isn’t straightforward, and as such, more and more organisations are utilising structures to help beyond their current (and often rigid) governance structures. Enter the advisory board.
Advisory boards come in all shapes and sizes with increasingly various labels and functions, however, at their core, two characteristics reign supreme: flexibility (think freedom within a framework), and the power collective wisdom provides for finding a solution. I liken them to the ‘yogi of governance’.
Whether it is a Reference Group being formed by former investment bank Chair Nicholas Moore in his capacity of Special Envoy to ASEAN to chart Australia’s economic engagement in the region through to 2040. Or Norges Bank establishing a Climate Advisory Board to manage climate risk and opportunity, to President Biden expanding the National Cancer Advisory Council to address the global fight against cancer.
The applications of advisory models are wide and varied but the intent is consistent – grouping together great, independent minds in a flexible environment to solve a particular problem.
As we move through 2023, we encourage organisations to worry less about the structure title and to continue engaging with the concept. When done well, advisory board structures can fit a wide variety of situations and stages across all sectors and organisations, big and small.
Whether they be advisory councils, advisory panels, reference groups, think tanks, or boards of advisors, the bottom line is that this type of structure provides the flexibility and agility needed to solve problems and build confidence in decision-making and strategy formulation.
VIEW MORE EXAMPLES OF ADVISORY BOARDS IN ACTION