Advisory Boards for farmers

Getting the right advice and making decisions based on facts and analysis, not on emotion and short term thinking are as important for farmers, as they are for other small businesses.

Please see the following article from the Weekly Times

Advisory boards can help farmers reach next level

February 26, 2016 12:00am

DALE WEBSTER         The Weekly Times

JUST  two  couples  were  still standing when Rabobank ­director Henry van der Heyden set out to identify farming businesses with a board at the Australian Dairy Conference.

They were the last of about 200 people who stood up when Sir Henry asked who in the room was a dairy farmer.

“I can guarantee those people still standing will have very successful businesses,” he said.

“If your board isn’t adding value to your business, you probably have the wrong people on it.”

The importance of boards was also stressed by governance expert Richard Westlake, who spoke on the role of advisory boards as an “appealing first step” towards handing over governance control.

He said bringing in an outside perspective to a business could be a scary process but it didn’t have to be.

“The great thing about an advisory board is that they are advisory,” he said.

“In the end you still make the decisions.”

A good advisory board could provide a helicopter view of a business and highlight risks and opportunities you might not have considered, he said. Not the least of the advantages was making your bank manager “feel a lot more comfortable”.

Mr Westlake advised a maximum of three to five people who could be relied on to not just say what they thought you wanted to hear.

“Probably the most valuable piece of advice you will get today is go and get someone you don’t agree with,” he said.

“If you’ve just got an advisory board where everyone is confirming your own views, you are never going to make any progress or lean anything new.

“You want people who can challenge you, test you, make you believe in yourself and then make sure you can put in place the plans to do things and that you get on and do them.

“Your advisory board’s job is not to do the job for you, but to help you do the job yourself.”





Advisory Boards for farmers

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