It goes without saying that inefficient or unprepared board members can be a culprit in the less-than-productive board meetings so many endure these days. If board meetings are a frequent part of your working life, the chances are fairly good you’ve met at least one exasperating board member. However, if no one is immediately springing to mind, be careful to double-check that that exasperating board member might not be you! Just in case, we’ve put together a fool proof guide on how to be a better (and more efficient) board member:
Prepare & Review All Meeting Documents Beforehand
Board members can have an awful lot of information to review for each meeting. However, turning up to a board meeting only having scan read the latest documents, with only a loose grip on the latest company developments and statistics is not only extremely unprofessional, it can delay important decisions or projects. Not to mention is generally frustrating for all parties involved, and will have a consequential effect on achieving company goals.
To ensure you’re prepared and up to date for your next board meeting, be mindful when an email reaches your inbox or a call comes your way, and consider who and what will be affected if you don’t do your homework before the meeting.
Working from a board portal like BoardPacks ensures that everyone on the board has the latest information to hand, and can even let you know how much time was spent reading a document – so there’s more accountability across all board members to be thorough in their preparation. Also, thanks to its well thought out features like task assignment; when delegating an item, all you need to do is enter the details into BoardPacks and said delegate will be notified with a due date and reminders, so more accountability and transparency quickly follows.
Embrace Boardroom Disagreements
It’s incredibly important to show consideration and respect when debating any points during a board meeting, particularly those that require a vote. No matter how passionate you are about your position, it helps to remember that one of the most positive aspects of conflict is that it often shows the extent to which some other board members care about the organisation and are willing to speak out if they disagree. This should be encouraged to avoid apathy however, moving through conflict can often be difficult, time consuming and sometimes downright emotional.
Luckily, with BoardPacks, the stress of decision making is dramatically reduced by allowing individuals to cast their vote remotely, without being in the same room as other decision makers. Having this option helps to decrease the effect of ‘group think,’ keeps things less confrontational (if necessary) and increases overall responsiveness.
Know Your Partners
A disengaged board member can set a shadowy tone for the meeting and dampen an atmosphere. A key way to avoid looking apathetic amongst your peers is to simply get to know them.
By researching your partners and showing genuine interest in them, you will not only build rapport but will open up more opportunities for best promoting your company. With better relationships in the boardroom, members will be more motivated to ‘hit the ground running’ and goals or tasks set during the meetings won’t seem as difficult to achieve.
BoardPacks allows you to take it a step further and even gives board members the opportunity to make public annotations. This encourages collaboration and helps to combine the skills and experience of each individual, making the shared annotations feature a very useful business tool indeed. But fret not, if there are any comments you really don’t want going public, you also have the option to make them private, so only you can see them. Keep up to date with your fellow board members progress on all delegated actionable items as well, so no one has to worry about overlooking important items and all members know where they stand.
To avoid frustrating yourself and others, don’t just assume that ideas discussed during the meeting will be put to action or even remembered.
Keeping on top of things after a meeting such as distributing minutes and recording any actionable steps will go a long way and show that you are serious about your company. To keep admin to a minimum, you can make notes against agenda items and use these to draft your minutes.
To find out more about how BoardPacks or any of the other meeting management solutions from eShare can help your board, email us at: firstname.lastname@example.org, or call our head office on +44 (0) 845 200 7829 for expert advice.