The boardroom can often be a challenging place filled with competing personalities, but this is the way it should be. The best and most ground-breaking decisions are rarely made in a harmonious atmosphere where all the parties agree straight off the bat. Decisions that will truly propel an organisation forward are best made when there are conflicting opinions, made by people passionate about the outcome.
Striking the right balance in the boardroom can feel like an impossible task, but what shouldn’t be holding board members back is the ability to do their best work and submit their valued opinion. Having access to the right information at the right time can be the difference between a business critical decision being agreed or not, so why would you allow the potential for your directors to not all be singing from the same hymn sheet?
A recent study suggests that 89% of the population are digitally engaged in some way in the UK. 21st century life would be inconceivable without the 24/7 access to information. You cannot imagine walking through London without seeing the majority of people either looking at their phones and connected via headphones to their device. Exercise is now an activity that has to be monitored and tracked by smart devices. The impact of technology is now reaching a point where even touching these devices to get them to do your bidding is almost considered old fashioned, paving the way for voice-activated technology to permeate our homes.
Technology is often criticised for encouraging procrastination, but the potential has yet to be fully realised from an efficiency point of view, let alone the potential cost savings in materials and staff productivity. All organisations understand the value of email versus hand-written communication, Excel rather than graph paper and video conferencing against the cost and logistics of arranging for all parties to be in the same room. These tools should only mark the beginning of a journey towards digital transformation, yet often the hold up to adopting new technologies is not bureaucracy or budgets, but leadership not realising the benefit of technology to their working lives and the tone that this sets for the rest of the organisation.
Boardroom technology has been around for some time now, yet it is still not as widely adopted as you might imagine. A board portal increases the security around your confidential board documents and allows you to access these documents on a laptop or mobile device. A good board portal offers you so much more than this.
Technology needs to be secure first-and-foremost to ensure the safety of your organisations information, but also its staff. However, the bounds of technology should not be limited by this alone, but should be aiming much higher than this. Good technology empowers your employees and gives them both the platform and the space to collaborate in order to bring out the best in them and allow them to achieve their goals.
This is certainly true at board level, in fact potentially more so. The information that board members must evaluate can be incredibly complex, as well as highly confidential. The security aspect of technology once you reach the boardroom is paramount; however, this is where many stop looking to innovate and fail to change the working culture to that of a more forward thinking organisation.
Collaboration should be something that is both encouraged and nurtured, as it’s this teamwork and merger of ideas that often fosters the best trouble shooting and creative thinking. Putting restrictions on the ways that board members can securely collaborate will only restrict the potential output of those board members.
Different people work in different styles, so why not utilise the technology available to get the best out of everyone. Instead of allowing resentment to grow against the quieter directors, seemingly not contributing much value, give them the opportunity to collaborate and idea share in a medium where they won’t be shouted over, allowing them to reach their potential and put forward a valuable point of view otherwise not heard.
The right technology can inspire people to work more efficiently and effectively than ever before, and also celebrates the diverse panel of experts you have curated in your board. The only thing holding this back is a lack of imagination and, sometimes, courage.
Be brave. Be bold. Be successful.