SWOT. Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats. We all use this or some form of this when deciding on business strategies or investments. But, how many of us use this when choosing an advisory board?
Each advisory board member should address the weaknesses or threats, or further expand the strengths and opportunities. Perhaps some address one and others address the others, but each SWOT item should generally be represented.
Are you looking to change your reputation? Want a warm and fuzzy rep? Choose the kings and queens of warm and fuzzy. Looking to expand through M&A? Who has deep networks where you want to acquire? A problem with street-cred? Appoint those with street-cred. Going public, looking for new markets, need some heavy duty loans, or having problems with a particular stakeholder group?
Are you hoping to be able to stave off threats by bolstering your team with an advisory board? Seeking new opportunities that the board can help you access more effectively?
Sometimes, just showing off your ability to gather big names for your board is what you are hoping to achieve. And sometimes the members want to show off their ability to attract board positions with big name providers. The advisory board benefits have to be mutual to work. And that mutuality has to be carefully nurtured and maintained. The moment one or the other feels that they are being mistreated or undervalued, things can go south, fast!