Organizations of all size and scale rely on board meetings to discuss critical business details. They also ensure that investors and senior leadership are on the same page. You could be a tech start-up or a financial giant, these meetings provide you the opportunity to discuss long term strategies.
With the massive shift to online meetings since the 2020 pandemic, organizations are adopting various technology to enable these meetings. Free online meeting tools, such as AIRA are enabling this for many businesses, while also providing great analytics.
Whether conducting board meetings online, or virtually, it is imperative for organizations to focus on adopting techniques to make them efficient and successful. If poorly run, not only does it prevent you from accomplishing the full extent of your objective, but can also feel like a drain on board members’ time and resources.
Adopting the right platform when conducting virtual board meetings can help a great deal. Free online meeting tools that work synergistically with leading platforms like Zoom, Google Meet etc. can increase overall efficiency. AIRA is one such tool- it can record, transcribe and analyse your meetings, while also enabling collaboration between teams.
In this article, we will explore some of the traits of Successful Board Meetings
- Promote collaboration and interaction
Executive directors on a board come with years of experience and add great value to board meetings through their opinions and experiences. It is thus imperative for board meetings to be conducted such that all participants are equally involved and can collaborate cohesively within the board. Assigning a board facilitator to enable this is a good way of ensuring optimal levels of collboratin and interaction during the meetings
- Establishing a clear division between the roles of managers and board directors
Although this remains a basic principle of board directorship, micromanagement of managers by the boards still happen. By having full confidence in their senior managers, boards can empower them to dispense their duties to their best ability. It also strengthens the relationship between them thus minimizing the scope for conflicts. Most importantly, keeping clear lines of responsibility between these two parties can enable faster and better decision making
- Streamlining board operations by adopting necessary technology
With the world meeting online, it shouldn’t come as a surprise that boards have also had to reinvent their meeting modalities. Adopting the right tools and technology to facilitate board meetings is paramount to its efficiency and overall success. With a plethora of paid and free online meeting tools, optimizing processes for board meeting minutes, agendas, sharing and collaboration of reports and other documents has become relatively easy. AI based meeting assistants such as AIRA can record, transcribe and analyse your meetings, and are worth a free trial
- Bring great listening skills to the board
While all board members do get a chance to speak at their turn, it doesn’t guarantee that each of their messages are being are being heard well and internalized. Per a Forbes article, a well-organized executive board constitutes both company executives and investors. However, the most value can be derived from board discussions when all varied opinions and expertise are well heard, weighed in and then contemplated on
- Eliminate the confrontation
There are many opportunities to discuss and resolve managerial issues and other day to day minutia during the daily course of business. Board meetings exist for a reason. The nature of discussions that they entail have a strategic tone to them. The board chairman and other members should try and eliminate any confrontations or high conflict situations during such meetings. While some concerns are important and need to voiced, board members should attempt to present them in a calm and thoughtful manner
- Appoint board directors who complement each other
While constituting boards, the diversity of members and breadth of their experience greatly enhance the value they can add to the board. By choosing board directors who aren’t carbon copies of each other, or share a huge overlap of skills and expertise, you can bring a more balanced and nuanced mix to the table. This amps up the board’s collective critical and lateral thinking ability and employ it to resolve challenging business issues
- Use outside experts as necessary
Despite the multitude of experience and collective expertise that boards bring to the table, there will always be aspects of business that might need a third-party view, or additional expertise. Board development training is one such way of doing this. It also helps them protect against any liability induced by a half-baked decision
- Understand and effectively track information architecture
Understanding the many layers of business and its key drivers is a primary responsibility the board undertakes. They need to stay abreast of key business trends in their space, competitive moves, stakeholder changes, compliance etc. Their decision-making ability is greatly dependent on the information they can access, in terms of business financials, reports, competitive landscape, human resource attributes etc. It is thus important for the board to have and be able to access a central data repository. With free online meeting tools such as AIRA, meeting data, actionable insights and analytics can easily be generated, stored and shared for future reference
- Ensuring complete attendance
If too many board members are missing meetings all too often, it is a strong indicator that the board is not being run properly. The issues could range from poor coordination, setting up meetings at short notice, lose framework or agenda, etc. A lack of interest amounting to absence from a board meeting can over time become an impediment to accomplishing the objective of these meetings. A dedicated board coordinator, or facilitator can help resolve these issues
- Lending clarity and efficacy to decisions made at board meetings
Despite a well-crafted agenda and meeting content, board meetings can’t be as successful if the decision-making is flawed and ridden with conflicts. Ensuring that opinions of all members are taken into account before reaching a decision makes way for a more optimal decision-making process. Additionally, assigning specific items to members resolves ownership conflicts thus further ensuring that decisions are not ideas up in the air but real-world actions that will benefit the business
In conclusion, the ultimate objective of board meetings should be to discuss and resolve issues that might have implications for the strategic direction of the organization. With the shift to virtual meetings, it has become all the more important to ensure the effectiveness of these meetings. Adoption of the right technology and platforms, in conjunction with the solutions listed above can greatly improve the overall success of board meetings.