CEO Peer Advisory Boards Support Global Growth

by Susan Giles Bischak

Your company is scaling for growth, going global and managing outcomes. Or, as many of our CEOs call it, “navigating the voyage.” But who has your back? And who are the comparable peers who can ask tough questions and be a sounding board when the ship may need to make a 180-degree turn in another direction?

That’s most important when you’re exporting and going global, because you need all the experienced and skilled help you can get to navigate some rough waters, at times. One option to consider is joining a CEO Peer Advisory Board like Vistage International.

The CEO Peer Advisory Board concept is a framework for executive success. Boards typically bring together members from non-competing industries focused on revenue growth, examining issues and taking on opportunities to enhance business and the lives of employees.

If growth and profits are at the top of your agenda, critical questions for our CEOs include but are not limited to:

  • How will you capture new opportunities in new markets?
  • How will your team maintain existing sales while new global markets open?
  • How will you finance the global growth?
  • What are the impacts of currency exchange and how will you compensate for exchange rates in pricing?
  • Do you have the right employees, and will they grow with your growth?

CEO Advisory Boards are a dynamic process for leadership and growth. The cornerstone is trust and accountability. CEOs share ideas, undertake group processing of issues and opportunities, challenge one another, offer solutions typically based on several hundred years of combined experience and expertise, and ask for and receive accountability from each member. The boards are by invitation only, and the groups often have about 15 members who meet monthly and have individual coaching sessions with the Group Chair.

Five key benefits of CEO Peer Advisory Boards are:

  1. Members work together with experienced CEOs who have no other agenda than to help each member succeed.
  2. They bring expertise and examples of best practices to other CEO members.
  3. Members process issues and opportunities with trust and confidentiality.
  4. Members challenge one another and offer solutions as part of the community of CEOs.
  5. Members ask for and receive accountability from each member.

CEO Peer Advisory Boards serve an important function in the life of the organization. Boards bring a different set of tools for learning, encouraging and growing businesses. Within the community of non-competing CEOs, members work together and learn from experts.

CEO Confidence High

The confidence level of CEOs with small and mid-sized businesses remains very strong. In a survey conducted by Vistage International Inc. for Third Quarter 2014 (9/8/2014–9/17/2014, with 1,359 respondents):

  • 75 percent of all CEOs anticipated revenue gains over the next 12 months. Only 4 percent anticipated declines in their revenues, the lowest ever recorded.
  • 52 percent of CEOs reported an improving economy, up from 50 percent one quarter ago and 46 percent one year ago.
  • 58 percent planned to increase their workforce, while just 4 percent planned reductions.

Susan Giles Bischak is the CEO of Giles & Company Strategic Business Consultants and a chair of Vistage International, Inc.

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