February 13


The Benefits of Diversity in a Business Advisory Board

By Andrew Martin

February 13, 2024

Houston business advisory board, Houston business owner, Houston entrepreneur

diversity in advisory board

Having diverse perspectives and backgrounds on an advisory board offers numerous benefits to business owners and their decision-making. In fact, a study by McKinsey & Company found that companies in the top quartile for executive-board diversity saw their Returns on Equity (ROEs) increase by an average of 53 percent compared to those in the bottom quartile.

As the founder of Six Figure Dinners and someone deeply immersed in the world of peer advisory boards, I’ve seen firsthand the transformative impact of diversity within these groups. Here are the key benefits you can expect when you join a diverse peer advisory board.

Gaining a Broader Perspective

Diversity in a peer advisory board brings a wide range of perspectives to the table.

When members come from different backgrounds and experiences, they can offer unique insights and approaches to solving problems and making decisions. As a small business owner, you’ll gain a bigger wealth of knowledge when you hear from multiple sources.

I’ve seen how this diversity can lead to a richer, more comprehensive understanding of the challenges and opportunities a business owner faces.

  • Cross-Industry Insights: I’ve found that solutions to a problem in one industry often can be applied in innovative ways to another. By engaging with peers from outside your immediate sector, you can discover unexpected strategies that have been tested and proven in different contexts.
  • Cultural Competence: We live in a diverse world and your business probably operates in a diverse marketplace. That’s why understanding cultural nuances can be the difference between success and failure. A diverse advisory board can provide insights into cultural expectations and norms, helping you to tailor your approach to new markets or demographic segments.
  • Challenge Your Assumptions: It’s all too easy to become stuck in your way of thinking. Hearing diverse perspectives is a good way to challenge your assumptions and force yourself to think critically about your business strategies. This can lead to better decision-making processes and innovative solutions to problems.

Enhanced Creativity and Innovation

A diverse business advisory board fosters a more creative and innovative environment. When individuals bring fresh ideas and approaches to the table, it leads to more creative solutions.

At Six Figure Dinners, our members have seen firsthand how a melting pot of ideas can lead to breakthroughs that might never have been discovered in more homogenous groups.

Here’s how diversity acts as a catalyst for innovation:

  • Breaking Echo Chambers: It’s natural for us to seek out places where our views are echoed and reinforced. The problem is that this can create echo chambers that end up stifling creativity and innovation. A diverse peer advisory board smashes echo chambers, introducing a range of viewpoints that challenge the status quo and push members to think outside the box.
  • Fostering a Culture of Innovation: When diversity is embraced, it shows that unique perspectives are valued and that innovation is encouraged. This creates a culture where members feel empowered to bring their most creative ideas to the table, knowing they will be considered and potentially implemented.
  • Real-World Application: At Six Figure Dinners, we always emphasize the practical application of the creative ideas generated within our peer advisory boards. It’s all about actionable, implementable strategies. This ensures that the creativity sparked by our diverse membership actually leads to real improvements in business operations, strategy, and growth. This is why our members are able to turn the ideas they get into real-world success stories.

Improved Decision-Making

There are countless impactful decisions you have to make every single day when running a company. I believe that better decisions are made more often when a small business owner has access to multiple perspectives from informed, experienced entrepreneurs.

You’re more likely to consider a wider range of options and potential consequences, leading you to well-informed and balanced choices.

Here’s how a diverse peer advisory board contributes to making better, more informed decisions:

  • Comprehensive Analysis: With a diverse advisory board, you’re getting a 360-degree view of every challenge and opportunity. Members from various industries and backgrounds can shine a light on different aspects of a decision you might not have considered, forcing you to do a more thorough analysis of potential paths and their outcomes. This comprehensive approach minimizes risks and maximizes the potential for success.
  • Speed and Efficiency: You might think that having multiple people involved would slow down the decision-making process, but in my experience, the opposite is true. With a wealth of knowledge and experience to draw from, peer advisory boards can quickly identify the best course of action, reducing the time spent in deliberation.
  • Learning from Others’ Mistakes and Successes: One of the greatest benefits of a peer advisory board is the ability to learn from the experiences of others. Members can share stories of what worked and what didn’t in their own businesses, providing valuable lessons that can inform and improve your decision-making. This collective wisdom helps you to avoid expensive mistakes and to replicate successful strategies.

Better Problem-Solving

Diversity is crucial for effective problem-solving because it encourages a diversity of thought.

Different viewpoints in peer advisory groups can help identify blind spots, anticipate challenges, and develop more comprehensive solutions.

I truly believe the foundation of a successful journey is a trusted network of support, guidance, and shared wisdom.

Let’s talk about diversity of thought for a minute.

We’re all different, and we all think a bit differently from one another. So, a group composed of individuals from a variety of backgrounds will naturally bring a diversity of thought to the table.

When you have access to a range of perspectives, you’re more likely to uncover unique solutions you wouldn’t have come up with on your own or if you were part of a more homogenous board.

The other thing is that diverse boards help you identify blind spots in your problem-solving process.

We all have our blind spots as business owners—areas of our strategy or operations that we might overlook or not fully understand. Peer advisory groups are great for uncovering these blind spots.

I’ve seen how members at board meetings can help point out potential pitfalls or overlooked opportunities in an entrepreneur’s plans, helping to improve their problem-solving approach and avoid costly mistakes.

The collective wisdom of a diverse peer advisory board is so helpful for developing comprehensive solutions that address the root causes of problems, not just their symptoms. With insights from various industries and disciplines, you’ll get all-encompassing solutions that incorporate best practices from different sectors.

Increased Market Insight

Market analytics can help you serve your customers better, giving you a deeper insight into their needs, behavior, and preferences. A diverse board brings together a wealth of knowledge and experience from various sectors, demographics, and cultural backgrounds, giving you a boarder view of the market that analytics alone cannot offer.

When you choose the right peer advisory board, one that offers diversity, you’ll be better positioned to understand and connect with a broader customer base. This is incredibly important in today’s market, where consumer preferences can vary widely across different cultures and demographics.

The insights gained from a diverse group of advisors can help you tailor your products and services to meet the different needs of these varied markets, ensuring your offerings resonate with a wider audience.

A diverse advisory board can also help you anticipate shifts in consumer behavior and market trends. The business landscape is always evolving, and so too are the needs and expectations of your customers. Advisors from different industries could identify these shifts before they become apparent in your sector, giving you a competitive edge in adapting to these changes.

More Positive Reputation

An advisory board that puts a focus on diversity often enjoys a more positive reputation. They can help business owners identify and mitigate risks more effectively to build a more solid reputation. Companies that value inclusivity and diversity attract potential customers more easily.

Diversity on an advisory board brings a range of perspectives that can help a business navigate complex social and cultural landscapes.

This can help identify and mitigate risks that could potentially harm a company’s reputation. For instance, a diverse board can provide insights into how certain business decisions might be perceived by different communities, allowing companies to make more informed choices that align with broader societal values.

Companies that showcase their commitment to diversity and inclusivity are often seen as more attractive to potential customers. This can lead to increased customer loyalty, as consumers prefer to support businesses that reflect their own values.

Join Your Personal Business Advisory Board

Diversity in a peer advisory board brings a wealth of benefits, from better decision-making to increased market insight.

At Six Figure Dinners, we pride ourselves on our diverse, highly-vetted peer advisory boards that help our members achieve increased profitability, sales, and productivity.

When you join us, you’ll gain access to personal coaching, comprehensive support, exclusive focus, and more.

Click here to learn more and join us as a guest at an upcoming event.

Andrew Martin

Andrew is Founder and CEO of Six Figure Dinners. He's also a co-owner of JARA Ventures, a venture capital firm that invests in and operates businesses across various industries, including financial services, recruiting, digital media, and real estate. Prior to this, he owned and managed 11 Menchie's Frozen Yogurt locations and a Menchie's Food Truck, which he sold in 2014. Andrew's other investments mainly target small to mid-sized consumer industries.

He earned his MBA from UCLA Anderson School of Management, specializing in Brand Management. Before pursuing his MBA, Andrew led a sales territory at The TREX Company in Boise, ID. Throughout his career, he has volunteered in various capacities, such as offering pro bono mediation services and assisting underprivileged families in improving their living situations.

{"email":"Email address invalid","url":"Website address invalid","required":"Required field missing"}