Where no counsel is, the people fall: but in the multitude of counsellors there is safety.
-- Proverbs 11:14
Thomas Fuller, the seventeenth-century clergyman, recaptured the proverb's essence with "Good counsels observed are chains to grace." These chains are now called networks--networks of knowledge and influence provided by people who really know. The advice and counsel may concern a trend, a threat, an opportunity, or just a sounding- board reaction. More "chains to grace" are forming around the higher echelons of institutions as complexity, uncertainty, and turbulence increase in the environment in which institutions pursue their corporate missions.
The Scots say "Gude advice is ne'er out o'season." Seasonal formation and appointments are more common in the professions and the educational, publishing, and governmental fields. For example, the editors of the American Chemical Society publications in early 1986 announced its annual three-year appointments of 418 members of twenty-two advisory boards. These advisors serve without compensation and provide an expert resource to guide editorial policy. Editorial boards have been permanent fixtures in the publishing field for years.
In August 1977 President Carter, amid great fanfare, announced