Consulting Conversations: The Value of a Consultant to the Company's Board

Author:Hank Harris
Publish Date: May 25, 2022 11:36 AM EDT

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How can a consultant be valuable to a board of an organization?  

In this next installment of Consulting Conversation, Hank Harris shares a few pointers. 

Board members -- and I sit on six boards myself, so I've got a lot of board experience -- and the one thing that's, I guess, a challenge about being a board member is you're not really there day-to-day. You come in once a quarter, listen to what's going on, and try to give management your input as best you can.

But you're just not getting close orders; the only close order information you're getting is coming from management. Sometimes that's okay.

Sometimes it's too limited. And so, I think one thing a consultant can do -- and I just went through this with a board that I'm on -- is they brought in a consultant to take a deep dive into the organization and look at what's going on soup to nuts. We got to report out on that at the board level, and it was very helpful because you just it's a level of detail that you might not otherwise get.

The second thing I think consultants can do for boards is -- most boards are structured into committees. A good example is a compensation committee, and another is a governance committee. If it's a mature board, and depending on the board members' backgrounds, they may be able to deal with all those issues themselves. However, sometimes it may be over the heads of the board members to technically know about what might be done, or what could be done, in that particular organization in that subject matter.

So, consultants can bring something to bear on that as well.

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