016: Advisory Boards: A Valuable Model for Organisations During Times of Complexity with Louise Broekman

Episode 16: Advisory Boards: A Valuable Model for Organisations During Times of Complexity with Louise Broekman

In this episode of Thriving in Complexity, host Susanne Le Boutillier talks to Louise Broekman about the value advisory boards can offer when you’re navigating complexity. Regardless of whether your organisation has a governance board, advisory boards help improve problem-solving and ensuring quality thinking for the best decision-making. 

Louise, who spent five years researching, testing, and validating advisory boards globally, discovered that there was no professional body looking after the advisory board sector in the world. This led her to establish the Advisory Board Centre to provide ethical foundations and best practice principles for the sector, enabling advisors to learn from each other and collaborate while helping clients achieve their strategic objectives. 

If you’re an entrepreneur or business leader, don’t miss this opportunity to understand how advisory boards can have a positive impact on your organisation. Tune in to this episode to learn more about the power of advisory boards and how they can help you thrive in complexity. Discover how having the right advisory board can help you make better decisions and navigate the ever-changing business landscape.


  • An interesting fact about Louise (02:40)
  • What are advisory boards and why are they becoming popular? (04:40)
  • How do advisory boards generate process accountability among directors (07:05)
  • Louise’s advisory board genesis story (11:08)
  • Who is suited to become advisory board members (15:20)
  • What types of organisations need advisory boards (18:25)
  • Determining if advisory boards are right for your business (21:25) 
  • How to ensure that advisory boards are operating in the best interest of your business (31:10)
  • What does Thriving in Complexity mean for Louise (41:01)  
  • A complex situation she could’ve managed differently (44:09)
  • The importance of knowing you won’t let yourself down (47:41)


“An advisory board is not a decision-making model, it’s a problem-solving model. It’s ultimately a thinking system.” -Louise Broekman 

“We need to have different conversations, to be able to make different decisions in a way that’s also going to be safe in the eyes of the market, and do the right thing in organisations, in ways that are viable, but also sustainable.” – Louise Broekman 

“Not everyone should be providing advice. It’s not a job, it’s a vocation.” -Louise Broekman 

Sometimes a holding to account focus can get in the way of creating a constructive thinking environment.” -Susanne Le Boutillier  


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Louise Broekman is an award-winning entrepreneur, researcher, and business advisor with industry and government recognition for her contribution to the Australian business sector. Louise has the unique advantage of having been on both sides of the table; in the shoes of a founder and that of a chair of multiple advisory boards. 

After establishing an advisory board in 2005 for her own business, Louise recognised first-hand how a well-run advisory board can positively impact CEOs and the business at large. Upon exiting her multinational business, Louise served as chair for commercial advisory boards before starting her second business. 

Now, as the founder and CEO of the Advisory Board Centre, Louise facilitates leading executive education programs for incredibly ambitious, progressive, and committed advisory board members, supporting their professional development and in turn, the businesses that they serve.