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Pamela Barnhill, offers her take on how Advisory Boards can assist businesses looking for growth opportunities in an evolving market.

Looking back at 2020, there were a lot of unknowns that businesses had to deal with. Those issues impacted both the daily and strategic decision-making of corporate leadership teams and boards. Meanwhile, we also saw massive cost cutting, as well as innovation and increases in productivity (from employees working remotely); with all those adjustments driving profit stability and even growth in many industries. As we move further into 2021, the remote workforce will continue to be a hot topic. It will involve intense debate on all sides as contractors, employers and businesses seek to come back together in a way that is acceptable to everyone, as well as provide a balance between productivity and in-person collaboration. Using a0dvisors and their networks can be, and is, a valuable resource to drive both internal and external strategic relationships and sales channels.

As 2021 progresses, it will be interesting to watch how boards come together with their executive teams to push for growth and increased profits. Overall, this will depend greatly on the Board of Directors and its relationship to the C-suite. At present, we see that Boards are expecting the C-suite to drive innovation and also tap new revenue streams when traditional income sources have become stagnant. However, we do find that, upon request, Boards work with their Executive Teams to gather and review data and provide advice to the C-suite.

It is this search for new market opportunities and revenue streams that presents interesting opportunities for highly functioning Executive Teams. Use of a confidential Advisor or Advisory Board helps businesses better manage expectations and drives them to their desired goals. Not being fully bound to corporate-political or fiduciary regulations, Advisors can engage a business’ Board of Directors and Executives in a way that pushes them forward along the path to their intended goals while maintaining an open communications culture that does not get stymied by an aggressive focus on compliance or by competing agendas.

In the hospitality, real estate and wellness industries, where I have gained most of my executive experience, black swan events such as the current pandemic truly test organizations’ leadership teams. For businesses to succeed, they need leaders and teams who know how to pivot, cut costs, and surround themselves with high quality contractors, employees and/or Advisors to execute sales and customer service with precision. This is why businesses need to think about, and be sure they have, the skilled personnel to lead them through tougher times. Executives and their respective Teams need confidential sounding boards along with skillsets to complement those that may be absent. That said, one skillset that is always in need is sales and strategic relationships that drive sales. Other important skillsets include setting up data capture, actionable sales funnels, sharing experiences, and creating an open culture that sets goals, communicates them well to the company team, and helps everyone in the business leadership succeed together.

When tackling the challenges of a tough economy, and this is true for leadership in any industry, you have to be willing to ask for help. Remember: you are not alone. There are people that have been impacted similarly through different crises over the years – they know how to survive and thrive. Find people that understand turnarounds and tough times and who know what is needed to create success: even from adverse situations. Plus, it is worthwhile to follow and monitor market evolution. The growing gig economy creates additional opportunities for companies to pivot and try new ventures without massive investment. We are here to help rekindle your purpose, align your company’s priorities, refresh your purpose as a thoughtful leader, and enable you to succeed in these challenging times.

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