Best of Success Seminars: How (and Why) to Build an Advisory Board of Non-Industry Professionals
Jack Scalo, veteran Best of Success presenter and RC’s 2015 Commercial Roofing Contractor of the Year, provided attendees with an informative session on building an advisory board within your roofing business. Using his own process as an example, he began by detailing the importance of creating an effective and educated advisory board, and the most significant reason behind it — to not undershoot your company’s potential.
Scalo explained that putting together an advisory board allows employers to work ‘on’ the business rather than ‘in’ it. His board, in particular, focuses on three main areas: growth strategy, career and personnel development, and long-term succession planning. The team meets four times per year, with calls in between to maintain contact and stay updated and informed. He reiterated several times that his board members are not there to tell him how to conduct his business, but rather to express their opinions on various topics, share their past experiences and to network. He also utilizes the board members as mentors for executives and family members.
He then detailed the four steps for effective board development, the first being to find and attract the right directors. The directors should be experienced business people who can contribute knowledge that will help your company succeed. These directors should be compensated accordingly, and be protected from any legal liability, Scalo explained. The third step is to foster creative thinking about promising new directors for your company. Lastly, seek out the board’s expertise to improve the quality and creativity of decision-making about any number of issues.