The COVID-19 crisis has demanded a different level and approach in the way organisations and boards tackle today’s challenges. And, despite the ambiguity and unprecedented nature of the situation, now more than ever, boards are being looked at to help lead and navigate organisations through the current climate. It is with this increased demand, that there is also a greater need for high-quality information, excellent coordination, organisation and communication across members and throughout the company.
This is where board technology can substantially help your organisation achieve more in a shorter amount of time. So, keep reading to learn how your organisation can prepare for board technology adoption.
What are the challenges of creating a board pack?
Producing a high-impact board pack can feel challenging when you are faced with an overcrowded or ever-changing agenda, time pressure and a burdensome collation process.
Below are some common challenges. Do these sound familiar to you?
- Papers are too long
- Papers are too backwards-looking
- There is too much information and not enough insight
- The purpose of the papers is unclear
- The input required from the reader is unclear
- The focus is too operational and there is not enough strategic coverage
- The style of the papers makes them difficult to read
Read our guide 7 Costly Board Pack Mistakes to find out how you can avoid these costly mistakes on your journey to a better board pack.
Fortunately, BoardPro allows easy management of board information and enables board members to fulfil their responsibilities of lifting organisational performance. Since everything is digital, all updates will be synced on all devices in real-time, saving your organisation time and money. And so if you feel that your organisation is committing some of these mistakes, perhaps adopting board technology can help mitigate these problems.
How do I know where I stand?
What does a high-impact board pack look like? Well, it should contain papers that answer questions the board wants answers to in a concise way, priming them for an effective discussion. It is structured in a way that uses time and data wisely.
A high-impact board pack:
- Delivers insight
- Drives focused, effective discussion and robust decision-making
- Engages the reader with a clear, concise style
- Enables your board to work at its best
We understand it can be hard to curate a high-impact board pack. It takes practice. Therefore, board software are a great place to start. They incorporate a centralised, web-based administrator tool to quickly create meeting agendas and assemble electronic documents for board and management meetings.
So with that, how do you start actually implementing board technology?
First, you need to understand the gap between where you are and where you want to be. That’s the purpose of this brief workout. Imagine it as a light exercise class rather than a bootcamp!
Ask yourself the following questions about your current board pack:
- Does your board pack help you have focused, productive discussions?
- Are the questions each paper must answer clearly set by the board and understood by the author before writing starts?
- Is the pack structured so that the most important items come first?
- Does your board pack typically contain less than 20 papers?
- Is there a clear distinction between papers for decision and discussion versus papers for monitoring and supervision?
- Are decision papers constructed with a well-understood structure to enable the board to reach a faster decision?
- Does each board paper begin with a one-page executive summary that:
a. Provides context and links the topic to the bigger picture?
b. Sets out the scope of the paper and the key questions it focuses on?
c. Presents all the key messages on a single page?
d. Specify the input required from the reader?
- Are your papers typically under 10 pages (including appendices)?
- Do directors feel sufficient attention is paid to strategy in the pack and individual papers?'
- Is data easy to interpret and used to answer relevant questions?
- Do you have a feedback mechanism for assessing paper and pack quality and impact?
If you answered 9 or more questions with a “yes” – well done! Your board pack is officially high-impact. Transitioning to board technology shouldn’t be too difficult now.
If you answered fewer than 9 with a “yes” – chances are that your board is operating at a level that is suboptimal. Maybe you are unable to focus your time and energy on what matters most, almost certainly leaving directors frustrated at how well their time is spent. And so, with that said, consider making the switch to board technology to help streamline the day-to-day board management work and deliver impactful board packs and information needed to drive better outcomes.
To explore what needs to change in order to optimise your board’s operations, why not try out BoardPro’s free 30-day trial. Or, request a demo to see how our platform could help you transform board effectiveness. This way, you can really understand through trial to see if your organisation is ready for board technology.
Additional questions to ask board members:
- How much value are you getting out of the meetings?
- Does the information you receive enable you to steer the organisation well?
- Is this something you want to fix in the next three to six months?
How BoardPro Drives Boardroom Efficiency
Too often, agendas are packed with backward-looking, operational and short-term issues. Board packs can be long and poorly written. There is not enough alignment within the board, and there is too little focus on strategy and long-term success.
BoardPro enables boards and leadership teams from small to large organisations to focus on what matters most, ensuring smarter meetings, decisions and actions. Priority planning and agenda management tools drive alignment across the board and leadership teams and make sure time is spent on those issues that will make the biggest difference. Agenda builders and best practice templates guarantee key questions are answered and that writers produce sharp, clear reports and papers that get to the heart of the issue quickly.
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