Learning from Your Advisory Councils
An advisory council, be it a select group of suppliers, distributors, resellers, or end user customers, provides you with candid feedback on your business processes, your methods of doing business, the ease of doing business, and your product and service offerings.
This forum can save you significant amounts of time, money, and energy and therefore, warrants serious consideration as to how the meetings are conducted.
Most companies have heard of advisory councils and several have taken the time and effort to create them. However, are you getting the most out of this forum of valuable assets? Or are you using it as a sales tool or way for your product and marketing people to promote new products and services?
The council itself should own the meeting agenda, not you, as the host. Council meetings should provide a peer-to-peer environment, not a sponsor-guest environment. That is why professional facilitation of advisory councils is key to their success.
As a professional advisory council facilitator, S.O.S. provides the following services:
- Customized council member criteria development and recruitment
- Agenda topic solicitation and management
- Meeting management (staying on schedule) and logistics (meeting rooms, meals, workshops)
- Impartial but expert facilitation of discussion to ensure peer-to-peer environment, constructive discussion, quality feedback, responsibility and accountability
- Productive resolution of difficult issues and concerns
- Meeting minutes with actions, owners, and timeframes as well as conclusions
- Action item tracking and follow-up to ensure progress from meeting to meeting