Professional Directors and Advisors
Challenge one. Challenge all.
Professional Directors and Advisors represents a group of independent practitioners who are distinguished in the business community. Individually, they have extensive professional expertise in specific industries and disciplines. Collectively, they reflect an unprecedented wealth of experience.
Sponsored by The Radcliff Group, Professional Directors and Advisors is a network of practice colleagues affiliated to work collaboratively for the benefit of a select group of corporations across a wide spectrum of valued capabilities. Organized by the specific challenges, the members form virtual teams of management advisors that are complementary and experienced at working in concert to bring synergistic solutions to complex challenges.
All members of Professional Directors and Advisors have served as senior advisors, on boards and as officers of leading companies in the media, retail, manufacturing, technology, construction and service industries.
Professional Directors and Advisors member firms are retained individually by client companies – and can provide full access to Professional Directors and Advisors for expanded engagements related to strategy development and execution, forming or augmenting independent boards and creating formal advisory councils.
Among the qualities our members bring to clients are strategic input, industry relationships, capabilities and perspective in …
• Business development
• Research experience
• Corporate board experience
• Customer contacts
• Finance expertise
• Capital funding
• Industry alliances
• International experience
• IPO experience
• Global initiatives
• Information technology
• M&A experience
• Marketing expertise
• Mentoring startups
• Regulatory experience
• Political contacts
• Strategic partnerships
• Turnaround experience
• Venture capital contacts
• Human capital
Robert M. Donnelly "It’s Lonely at the Top"
Don’t outsmart yourself by having no one to talk to … but yourself.
The simple rule of thumb is that any entrepreneurial CEO of a growing firm needs to form an advisory board or “advice squad” early in the evolution of their business made up of executives with experience in areas of business management where they are lacking. The advisory board members skills should complement their own.
Experienced business executives, with finance, banking, strategic planning, technology, legal, or operating experience usually make for excellent advice squad members. These are experts that you have to deal with in the evolution of your business anyway so why not have them function in more of an advisory capacity than just for a fee when needed. If these experts that you deal with professionally cannot become involved because of an ethical issue or conflict of interest, ask them to recommend a trusted colleague.
Obviously, there is no sense forming an advisory board without a plan for how you are going to use their individual and collective expertise. Likewise, you need to have some form on an incentive, or stipend per meeting, or annual fee for their participation with you and for their advice in growing the business. Then you need to meet regularly with them individually on specific day-to-day issues and collectively on a quarterly basis to review actual results against plan, as well as progress in terms of the strategic milestones in the business plan.
Having an unbiased expert to meet with periodically who is not wrapped up in the day-to-day aspects of your business is invaluable. Their objective evaluation of a situation can save you from making an embarrassing and expensive mistake. Even just offering up other options that you didn’t think of can be very helpful.
At meetings just having an advisory board member ask “why do you want to do that” often sets in motion some additional analysis that can be extremely rewarding. These meetings have an uncanny way of injecting sound business sense into decisions that have evolved often without the right level of common sense.
Seriously, think about it and if you don’t already have an advice squad get started setting up an advisory board of experienced professionals with skills you are missing, or just for their objectivity.