Are your board minutes missing the point?

The business world we live revolves around meetings. It is critical for employees to get together to address a variety of topics and discuss important issues for a business to thrive and grow. Be it board members, management teams or executive team members we are all expected to attend multiple meetings within our working life, however, there have been countless times that participants have left a meeting feeling that they didn’t really understand the point of the meeting. Research conduct by eShare showed that the average worker attends 4.4 meetings a week, with 2.6 of those deemed unnecessary meaning 6 hours 22 minutes are spent on unnecessary meetings – that is almost an entire working day each week. Too many times the key points that needed to be communicated within a meeting get lost in the minutia of details and the future actions required from members who attended can be left a bit blurry.

We attended the ICSA Annual Conference 2018 which attracted over 700 company secretaries and governance leaders from 37 countries. We were able to have some fascinating chats and discussions surrounding corporate governance and how we can improve the day to day running of our businesses. We found the talks thought provocative and the break out sessions extremely beneficial with regards to sharing knowledge. There appeared to be a clear theme rumbling with the company secretary’s community and that many company secretaries were frustrated with the lack of consistency within their board packs. There were many concerns voiced about the authors of the meeting papers not receiving all the relevant information before the meeting. Therefore meeting papers were being prepared and sent out to attendees without a clear structure of topics that needed to be discussed.

This can lead to the attendees precious time wasted from sitting in on a meeting without clear discussion points and outcomes. Instead of being sat in a meeting where no one really knows why they are attending in the first place, teams could be putting concentration on another important task’s. Research conducted by eShare showed that unnecessary meeting is costing UK business more than £191 billion a year. With it taking an average of 68 minutes to prepare for each meeting and then a further 79 minutes attending each meeting, the loss is not only with the meeting members valuable time but also a loss for the business finance. There is also the risk that many poor decisions are being made with information not being properly communicated to the members of the meeting. This can have huge ramifications on a business’s success and reputation of the company.

The company secretaries expressed that the reason behind the majority of miscommunication comes from the fact that they are putting these meeting packs together and trying to get into the reader’s mind, however, they are not actually attending these meetings. They don’t have the background information, they don’t know what has been previously discussed and they don’t know what the real key issues are and that want to be addressed. Without being sat within the meeting that most of the key points in a meeting tend to be verbal and therefore a critical issue emerged, minueting. Not being able to keep track of minutes leaves an opportunity for meetings to go off track and leaves the company secretary with no audit trail to try and piece together what happened within it the meeting. Good meeting minutes help map out a plan of action for meeting attendees and also provide valuable information for those who were unable to attend the meeting.

When it comes to putting a board pack together all these factors combined with the current pressures the Company secretary has to deal with amounts to a mountain of work to. The stress of trying to deliver the correct messages and the meeting pack itself on time is a burden the company secretary should have to bare. With BoardPacks this stress can be shredded away with our topic history feature. Topic history allows you to open an agenda item and see the public notes, actions, decisions an minutes for past meetings if this same agenda item has been discussed in a previous meeting. BoardPacks also saves company secretaries time by automation the mundane, laborious tasks, helping them keep on top of their workload without feeling like they are constantly juggling responsibilities.

eShare has also developed our Minutes+ that enable you to record your minutes in a style that is personal to you and send it through an approval process. With Mintues+ you can manage your minutes and record minutes against different agenda items. Minutes can be recorded in a variety of styles such as bullet points, font, colour and you can even insert images to agenda items. With BoardPacks you can also search historical minutes allowing you to understand what outcomes and decisions were made in previous meetings. Say goodbye to wasted meetings and wasted costs – say hello to BoardPacks.

If you would like more information or a free fully comprehensive demo them please contact eShare at or 08452 007 829.

posted on & filed under Corporate Issues, Governance Practices.