August 6, 2018
Karen Peacey

Directors want productive, strategic meetings—Is your Board equipped to deliver them?

Anyone with experience managing a board understands that well-organized board meetings play an absolutely vital role in drawing critical strategic insight to help an organization best compete and succeed. Now there is scientific evidence to back this up. A new study from the Rotman School of Management shows that effective board meetings were the biggest factor in overall board contribution to company performance.

According to the Rotman study, the most effective board meetings are those that maximize the time spent discussing strategy, rather than routine business. Many board members report that time allocation is a major problem for their boards, with time being wasted on less important items while strategic- or vision-related issues are left to the end. The focus is too often on where an organization has been when it should be on where it is headed.

These are in many ways natural tendencies, so fighting them requires disciplined time management and strict adherence to agendas. Board of directors portal software is a powerful tool for accomplishing this. Board management software provides enhanced scheduling and communication capabilities that make it easier for board members to prepare for their meetings by reviewing the board documents, and helps keep the meeting itself on track.

If you want to learn about board meeting software and how it can help you plan more productive meetings, here are a few of the ways board portal services like Aprio can be instrumental in efficient board meeting prep and better board meetings.

  • Answer background questions before the meeting – It is a common frustration that meeting time gets wasted answering background questions versus getting to strategic discussion. Aprio provides every director with the agenda and related documents in advance of meetings. Ask directors to submit their questions using Aprio discussion tools. Chairs can decide which are key for meeting discussion, and answer in advance any background questions that need not consume precious meeting time.
  • Right topics and time allocations on agendas — Before setting an agenda, compare it to agendas recently used. Are the agendas working to engage director in strategic forward-looking decisions? Are there regular areas where you go over schedule? Use Aprio to set up a poll for board members to ask if they feel key topics are being addressed, whether there is enough time set to talk strategy? Tune your agenda based on the data you discover.  
  • Streamline agenda planning — With Aprio, you can create agenda templates for efficient repeat use and set efficient time limits for topics. Speed up meeting set up and help directors stay on the topics vital to your organization’s success.

If you want to help your board run meetings that focus on the most important issues, contact us to learn more about how portal software can help. A board that doesn’t discuss the risks and opportunities ahead will not be best equipped to handle them.

 

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