BUSINESS MANAGEMENT: Three Ways To Improve Board Meetings With Better Software

By  //  August 7, 2018

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successful board uses quarterly, annual meetings

Running a good board meeting isn’t easy, however, and board administrators need to balance a number of competing needs, which is why many of them are turning to sophisticated board management tools like portal software.

Boards of directors play a vital role in charting a course for companies and organizations of all sizes, and board meetings are the nerve center where the most important decisions get made.

A successful board uses quarterly and annual meetings not only to rubber-stamp the plans of the organization’s executives but as an opportunity to think deeply about its purpose and direction.

Running a good board meeting isn’t easy, however, and board administrators need to balance a number of competing needs, which is why many of them are turning to sophisticated board management tools like portal software.

Portal software allows board information to be shared quickly and securely and is playing an important role in making boards more effective and more resistant to hacking. If you want to improve the quality of your board meetings, here are three ways portal software can help:

1. Get Your Board Book Out Sooner

While the board meeting itself is scheduled for a particular day, the work of the board meeting begins weeks in advance. In order to prepare for the discussions, debates, and votes that will guide how the board proceeds in the coming quarter or year, directors need to have adequate time to review and digest the reports, motions, and data coming before the board.

One of the most important ways board of directors portal software is helping improve board meetings is by providing members with the board book far in advance of the meeting, and in a convenient electronic format that makes it easy to review the necessary information. Some board portals are even accessible as mobile apps, which means directors can access everything they need to prepare for the next meeting through their tablet.

2. Facilitate Discussions Before The Meeting

Getting the most out of a board meeting often means ensuring that as little time as possible is spent discussing points of clarification so that more time can be dedicated to substantive conversations. Because board portal software allows users to annotate and discuss the board book within the portal itself before the meeting, it is much easier to manage the preliminary discussion remotely, saving more time for the real issues during the meeting itself. 

3. Keep The Information At Your Fingertips — Literally

While board portals play an important role in the weeks leading up to a board meeting, they also make the meeting itself go much more smoothly. As any experienced board manager knows, even directors who have spent time familiarizing themselves with the document package in advance may misremember data or misplace where they read it.

Using the board portal during a meeting allows every board member to access and search the information in seconds. It also allows board members to work from their own annotated copies, which means directors spend less time flipping through documents and more time discussing the business of the day.

Over the past 20 years, breakthroughs in communications technology have completely revolutionized how we do business, and have saved incalculable amounts of time, energy, and money.

Because they make it easier to distribute important documents and facilitate discussions before the meeting, while keeping potentially sensitive information confidential, board portals are one of the best communication solutions available to boards in the 21st century. It is likely only a matter of time before portals become a standard tool for boards everywhere. 

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