So much good stuff in the Creativity Inc book. I was reading a chapter on their Braintrust group and realised it's pretty much what we've designed and are attempting to do at Fieldwork. Here's a slightly edited version of what Ed Catmull says:
"After the early rushes are created (Fieldwork capture and evidence), Braintrust meets and discusses what's not ringing true, what could be better and what's not working at all (Fieldwork playback/exhibition). Notably Braintrust do not prescribe how to fix the problems they diagnose. They test weak points, make suggestions but it's up to the director (founder/manager) to settle on a path forward."
He goes on to talk about the frequency of these meetings, and how this isn't something you can do once and tick it off the list. The Braintrust has no authority in the same way that Fieldwork will attempt to shine lights on things that are hidden in shadows, but will not try to direct what needs to be done.
There is a reason we don't want to prescribe, it's because we want to be independent and not be in a position where there could be a conflict of interests ie prescribing solutions that we make lots of money out of. Fieldwork has no selfish agenda.