Need a wise expert/director?

The Institute for Independent Business (IIB), an international organisation of mature executives, is no normal management consultancy.
Associates of IIB are generally more like non-executive directors who stay for some length of time with a company (unless it is a stand-alone project).
Another difference is that they charge affordable prices – up to around $100/hour, but tariffs are not prescribed. Associates often do phone consultations.
Associates charge the clients and none of the income goes to IIB, which is a non-profit association.
An associate may share any assignment with other associates. Associates will assist businesses of any size, but the majority of businesses assisted employ less than 20 people.
By contrast, conventional management consultants often use younger graduates, who consult to big companies for big fees, on temporary assignments.
IIB associates originate from all sectors but have the common factor of being "mature business people".
The IIB operates in 20 countries; in Africa it operates in South Africa, Botswana, Nigeria and Kenya. There are 5,000 associates throughout the world.
Jeremy Barton, a South African IIB associate, says business owners/directors generally do not want advice on their own particular expertise (for instance, plumbing) but they do want it in areas where they are not expert (for instance finance, personnel, production, sales, etc).
Barton says "there is a need everywhere … the biggest room in the world is the room for improvement. We have the mechanism and ability to help any business. There is no price list – it is by negotiation depending on the business and its particular problems.”
"IIB basically can give a business a virtual board of directors – a financial director, a production director, a human resources director, etc. An independent business often has the problem of finding these experts. And the experts often have the problem of finding businesses that need their services."
IIB promotes itself through networking – every month associates give a certain amount of time to this.
There is a strict process of accreditation of associates. The process starts with sending a CV into the local IIB which then vets the person. Suitable candidates are then invited to a seminar – or, if they have no time, they are talked to on the phone.
If the candidate decides that IIB may be what he/she wants, he/she must provide further detailed information. Finally, the potential associate must fund himself/herself for a 6-day residential business school in London.
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