The Director's & Officer's Guide to Advisory Boards

By Robert K. Mueller | Go to book overview

13
THE POWER OF ADVISORY BOARD NETWORKS

Some are born to connections; others work at it . . . if architecture is frozen music, then social networks are frozen gossip.

-- Paul Barker, The Guardian Weekly, October 30, 1983


THE NETWORK ETHIC

The first two-thirds of my working life were spent in the international industrial sector--plant operations, technical marketing, the research laboratory, the executive suite, and "behind the boardroom door." The last third has been spent in contract research, consulting, and advisory board activities. That is to say, two-thirds of my work experience has been spent in relatively structured organizations and hierarchical cultures, and one-third in a relatively unstructured role with a diversified network structure and peer-dominated cultures.

The perspectives gained from these experiences underscore the value of networks outside an organization being served in a consulting or advisory capacity. There is an immense difference in the relative effectiveness and role of an ordered hierarchical organization and one empowered primarily by networking processes. How the two might be blended to meet the changes that are beginning to reshape our societal and business context is the subject of this chapter. An experienced and well-connected group of advisors can provide a unique perspective by tapping their respective personal networks of persons "who really know."

The blending offers an opportunity for advisors to supplement hierarchical and bureaucratic relationships. To grasp this opportunity,

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The Director's & Officer's Guide to Advisory Boards
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Recent Titles from Quorum Books ii
  • Title Page iii
  • Contents v
  • Tables and Figures vii
  • Preface ix
  • Introduction 1
  • 1 - Advisors Unlimited 9
  • Notes 26
  • 2 - Driving Forces 27
  • Notes 35
  • 3 - Counseling Versus Consulting Versus Mentoring 37
  • Notes 41
  • 4 - Role of an Advisory Board or Council 43
  • Notes 64
  • 5 - Activity and Societal Scan 65
  • 6 - Species of Advisory Boards 77
  • Notes 88
  • 7 - Weak-Signal Governance/Early Warning Advisory Systems 89
  • Notes 101
  • 8 - Advising Non- Profit-Seeking Versus Profit- Seeking Organizations 103
  • Notes 108
  • 9 - Care and Feeding of Advisory Boards 111
  • Notes 121
  • 10 - Insurance, Indemnification, and Contractual Matters 123
  • Notes 134
  • 11 - Advisory View of Corporate Strategy 135
  • Notes 148
  • 12 - Advisory Board Perspectives: Stakeholder Strategy 149
  • Notes 170
  • 13 - The Power of Advisory Board Networks 173
  • Notes 187
  • 14 - Advising the Family Business Board 189
  • Notes 201
  • 15 - Cultural Realities Facing Advisory Boards 203
  • 16 - Advising on Nonprofit Trusteeship Pathologies 223
  • Notes 240
  • Appendix ADVISEE SEARCH: GETTING INVITED TO SERVE AS ADVISOR 241
  • Notes 255
  • SELECTED BIBLIOGRAPHY AND REFERENCE READING LIST 257
  • Index 263
  • About the Author 279
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