Can Board Members Help You Build a Stronger Strategy?

Advisors can help you build your business strategy.Advisors can help you build your business strategy.

One of the primary roles of the board of directors or advisory board is to help CEOs build stronger organizations. Choosing the right people to work with your leadership team can help spell success or failure for you as a leader. They can help you build a better business strategy!

They can also play a critical role as sounding board for the CEO. A great advisor can help an executive clarify their ideas before investing people and money into future plans. With all the challenges organizations face, it’s critical that we expect more from our board of directors and our advisory boards.

I was lucky enough to be exposed to Ram Charan’s thinking on boards and leadership many years ago. He has a common sense approach to how leaders can leverage their boards. He has worked with many of the world best leaders and organizations. He believes the quality of our board members can positively impact our organizations in many ways.

He has recently published a book called Boards That Lead by Ram Charan, Dennis Carey, and Michael Useem. You might want to grab a copy if you have an advisory board or if you’re being asked to serve as a corporate director. You’ll be glad you read it. It’s an easy read and gives you many tools to become a more effective leader when working with your leadership team or board.

Your board of directors or advisory board can be invaluable aid in formulating and executing your business strategies.

Let’s review some of the questions board members can ask executives when working with them on their business strategies. Today I’ll share the key questions. Over the next several weeks we will discuss these questions in more detail.

Let’s see how your strategy fares when answering these questions. I’ve used them for many years with my clients. My clients are always surprised by the conversations they start and how easy it is to implement their ideas after our discussions. Let’s get started.

Is the strategy clear and compelling? Does your idea move people? Can your ideas inspire your team members?

What sets your strategy apart from others in the market? Are you able to create a unique position in the market?

Does your strategy and value proposition align? Will your clients or customers find significant value in what makes your business different?

Does your strategy help you gain a competitive advantage in your markets? How does this strategy differentiate you from your key competitors?

What are the critical risk factors in implementing your new strategy? How do you mitigate risk while leveraging your unique capabilities?

Have you evaluated your strategy against other options? Are there other alternatives that might be easier to succeed at?

How good is the strategic fit compared with the current corporate culture? Do you have the right people in place to succeed in executing this strategic direction?

Can you track the results of your strategy? What are the hard and soft benefits that will be achieved by implementing this strategy?

Now that I’ve got you thinking about your strategy, next week I’ll start the conversation about your strategy and the role culture plays in it.  See you then.

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