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Top 5 Most Innovative Customer Advisory Board SESSIONS

Great webinar from Ignite Advisory Group on their “Top 5 Most Innovative CAB Sessions”. In summary they spoke about the need for Customer Advisory Board sessions to be ENGAGING for both members and host company employees, and also generate ACTIONABLE INSIGHTS for the host company. Those are the two key outcomes that advisory board sessions are focused on. In order to achieve this, Ignite has developed a series of turnkey templates for designing and delivering advisory council agenda sessions. Here is a summary of their Top 5:


The goal of this CAB agenda session is to get input from the council members on the product roadmap. Ignite recommended that instead of opening up the entire product roadmap for input, focus on the “decisions” that the Product Development team faces. The objective is to get specific feedback on these forks in the road to help determine which direction to move forward in, this is where an advisory council can add the most value.

Some of the most impactful product road map sessions we have led are those that uncover and prioritize desired product road map features by gamifying the exercise for all involved. This can be done in numerous ways, such as eliciting desires via sticky notes from CAB members and then having everyone vote on their desired features with sticky dots so everyone can see the results.


Design Thinking Makes You Think Outside the Box

Design thinking can help people do out-of-the-box or outside-the-box thinking. People who use this methodology:

  • Attempt to develop new ways of thinking — ways which do notabide by the dominant or more common problem-solving methods.
  • Have the intention to improve products, services and processes. They seek to analyze and understand how users interact with products to investigate the conditions in which they operate.
  • Ask significant questions and challenge assumptions.One element of outside-the-box / out-of-the-box thinking is to falsify previous assumptions — i.e., make it possible to prove whether they are valid or not. Once you question and investigate the conditions of a problem, the solution-generation process will help you produce ideas which reflect the genuine constraints and facets of that particular problem.

As you can see, design thinking offers us a means to think outside the box and also dig that bit deeper into problem-solving. It helps us carry out the right kind of research, create prototypes and test our products and services to uncover new ways to meet our users’ needs.


Focusing on a Real-world business scenario – the goal is to create story or challenge with a constraint AND sense of urgency.

Some ideas for roleplays include:

  • Supply Chain Disruption
  • Natural disaster (hurricane)
  • Covid
  • Cyber attack
  • Shipping Costs doubling overnight

Why does roleplaying work well with Customer Advisory Board members? CAB members like to be intellectually CHALLENGED – its exciting!

HOST company can observe how clients make strategic decisions under pressure…


Borrowing from the TV show with the same name, a Shark Tank style panel of the executive team (or board) is assembled to weigh in on each CAB breakout teams readout and select the winner. The objective is to focus CAB members on developing new innovative ideas and business cases that benefit both them and the host company. The best idea wins!


Achieving the impossible using Blue Sky Thinking techniques. Here is a sample flow of the Customer Advisory Board session:

  1. What new technologies could disrupt industry in future? <wall of ideas & grouping>
  2. If Elon Musk gave you $1 billion to disrupt the industry and gain the largest market share, how would you do it?

<working in pairs & share with group>

3. What does this discussion teach us about where the industry is heading in future, what competitive threats exist?


So in summary, the Top 5 Agenda sessions ideas presented were:

  1. Product Development “Tradeoffs“
  2. Design Thinking
  3. Strategy Simulation
  4. Shark Tank
  5. Moonshot

For more information and to access the Customer Advisory Board sessions webinar go to:

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