Using an Advisory Group
In situations in which different perspectives could be beneficial, such as obtaining insight from different stakeholders regarding recruitment and retention problems or decisions, a behavioral health organization might consider forming an advisory group. An advisory group can be made up of outside individuals who have knowledge or experience about a specific challenge, or who have unique insights as representatives of stakeholders. Management or staff may be assigned to act as ex-officio members.
The group has a chair that facilitates meetings and/or serves as the contact for the organization. Most often, the skills and insights are specific to an assigned problem. The group makes recommendations or provides key information but does not have authority to govern. Oftentimes, the advisory group is formed following a request from the board. An advisory group can be standing (ongoing) or ad hoc (occurring one time or having limited meetings). Meetings may be face-to-face or remote using technology, but the schedule and commitment is specified prior to an invitation to join.
The following are basic characteristics and/or competencies for member selection. They should be expanded to meet specific needs and focus of the group.
- Interest or knowledge in the area of focus of the advisory group
- The ability to work constructively as part of a team
- The commitment and ability to devote time to advisory group matters
- A genuine interest in improving the services of the organization
Stakeholder Management Tools
Stakeholder management is the process by which you identify your key stakeholders and win their support. The article, Stakeholder Analysis
, provides tools that will help to identify the key people to get involved.
An influence map will help you recognize key influencers. It is a visual model that helps clarify how stakeholders relate to one-another and in which way influence flows. For more information, read Influence Maps
Community Engagement: Attributes of a Successful Group or Committee
The Minnesota Department of Health offers insight into attributes of a successful group or committee in Community Engagement
Guidelines to Form an Advisory Group
Written by Carter McNamara, MBA, Ph.D., of Authenticity Consulting, LLC., Guidelines to Form an Advisory Group
provides the definition, purpose, and overall benefits of using an advisory group; strategies to hold effective meetings; suggestions on developing an agenda (with a sample agenda); and a sample letter of invitation.
Build Discussion into Your Advisory Board Meeting Agenda
By Susan Ward
on About.com, Your First Advisory Board Meeting
includes information on planning an advisory board meeting, gives a sample advisory board meeting agenda with timing, makes suggestions on planning around a problem or question, suggests what meeting materials might be needed, and offers insight into typical meeting notes.
Advisory Boards Are Powerful Management Tools
Tools and Information on Advisory Groups
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