Joining a Board of Advisors

How can the addition of a Right Brained or creative person complement a companies Board or Advisors group?


Jay’s Answer:  It depends on the Board. If everyone else is focused on “the bottom line”, then a creative person can help the Board to see new directions. However, the Board has to be willing to be open-minded enough to give them an opportunity to to present their case and be led through different thinking. The risk of being the “odd one out” on the Board is that the creative person won’t be seen as “one of the team” and instead the “different one”.

A number of years ago, I was on a Board with mostly creative people, and it became clear that I needed to assume a more left-brained (logical) style, since there wasn’t anyone keeping an eye on fiduciary and legal responsibilities. The Board wasn’t happy to be focused on the “not fun stuff”, and it became a personal frustration for me, feeling like I was leading a crusade for something that others weren’t very interested in.

So before a different style of person is added to the Board (or any cohesive team), really ensure what the needs of the team are, and have the team have an open-discussion interview. Do they need someone who’s complementary or are they looking for more of the same type of people already on the team?

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