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Get On Board by Marissa Levin

Q&A: How to find the right advisors — and the right board on which to serve

Charles Feghali has more than 30 years of experience building and running global organizations. Most recently, he was the president of a $600 million privately held group of paper and packaging companies. Here, he shares insights on how to form a board, and how to select a board on which to serve.
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More than one way to help: Why business-development advisory boards often fall apart

Virtually every company I work with asks about using an advisory board as a business-development tool. While it is advantageous to engage advisors in the business-development process, it’s generally not a good idea to form an advisory board specifically focused on it.
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Why you should engage your executive team in building your advisory board

The people who have the most valuable insight into an organization’s holes are its employees. Too often, CEOs and supporting executives overlook this valuable resource. Instead, they rely on their own experiences and perspectives to decide whose advice they need to help them get to the next level.
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Upfront work matters: Make sure potential advisors are aligned with your vision and values

As Plato said, “The beginning is the most important part of the work.” It’s so important to know the foundation of your own business first before bringing anyone else in to help you grow it. Until we know ourselves well, we cannot articulate our identity to others and we cannot equip them with what they need to help us.
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When you choose advisors, don’t forget about the culture connection

Advisory boards may seem independent of your company, but in reality, they represent and impact your corporate culture. When selecting advisors, you need to consider how the advisors will integrate into your organization.
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Here’s what you need before you can implement an advisory board

Roughly the same numbers of firms start and close each year. Many of these companies go the wrong way about forming advisory boards, which might contribute to their early demise. If you want to build a strong advisory board from the start, there is a list of key elements that need to be in place first.
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A rockstar board helped Julie Kantor overcome ‘startup isolation’

This month, we spotlight Twomentor, LLC, a Washington-DC based start-up that brings mentoring programs and curriculums to the private sector. In the following interview, founder and CEO Julie Kantor talks about how her advisors have championed her and helped her get her startup off the ground.
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New year, new board: How to evolve, evaluate and exit board members

When it comes to employees, businesses should always be interviewing and meeting prospects. The time to recruit and interview new staffers isn’t when the company is in a desperate state of immediate need. The scanning process should be ongoing. It works the same way with advisory board members.
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How the right advisors helped transform Yoko Co.

This month, we spotlight Yoko Co., a Virginia-based web-presence management company. Founder and CEO Chris Yoko talks about how he selected advisory board members who helped ground him personally and define his business vision.
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How micro boards and flash boards can benefit your company

Recently, business owners have been asking me about “micro boards” and “flash boards.” These are temporary boards designed to address a specific challenge or growth goal. Think of them like the various pop-up stores that are springing up everywhere.
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Marissa headshotABOUT MARISSA LEVIN: Marissa Levin is CEO of Successful Culture, a consulting firm that helps CEOs build excellent cultures. She is the author of Built to SCALE. Contact her at or on Twitter @marissalevin.