As a business leader, how do you know if your Customer Advisory Council is yielding you the strategic results it should?
An Advisory Council is a huge opportunity to gain insight on your strategic, marketing, sales, services, product and merger/acquisition opportunities. This insight when executed properly yields companies Sustainable, Predictable, Profitable Growth.
If you are not getting this level of insight and results, you need to look at how you started the process. I recently observed an advisory council meeting where the executives felt that their advisory council meetings were getting stale. We did an assessment and discovered several things:
- Internal Alignment – Executive internal alignment was lacking. The Executives each had different ideas of why they had an advisory council and the results it should yield. The result was the executives treated this like an event that happens twice a year
- Company Priorities - When we evaluated this meeting as well as went back to their first meeting, we identified that the agenda’s never tied back to the company priorities.
- Decision Maker Mix - They had technical and business leaders on their council – The decisions will always go to the lowest common denominator, which in their case went to technical discussions.
Based on what we identified, it was not surprising that the executives felt the advisory council was getting stale. They were completely missing a huge opportunity to help them continue to transform their business to achieve the high growth they desire.
First of all, the executive team needs to understand the value that a decision maker council can have on your business. Once you have alignment there, you need to look your planning process. The executive team should look at their business priorities and align the agenda to drive outcomes that fit into those priorities. Finally, once you have alignment, you have mapped this to your company priorities, it will become very clear who would be the right type of decision maker on your council.