Board Communication Software: The Key to Success

by Carlo Gesmundo on October 15, 2018 and last updated on October 17, 2018

One of the most crucial contributors to any board’s success is board communication software. The aptitude to properly convey a message and have the receiving party understand will decrease the likelihood of failure as well as increase efficiency and productivity in any work process.

With boards collectively making big decisions for organizations, communication between one another should be focused on delivery.  To reduce the room for error, clear and concise messages must be delivered in a direct and timely manner. Couple this with the need to keep the organization’s most confidential information within the boardroom, and a secure medium becomes even more of a priority.

It’s common practice for board members to utilize software that’s not only free, but also familiar. Emails and instant messaging do provide the basic needs for communication, but it’s the familiarity that blinds users from the possible improvements. Sina Kaye Lockley, a communication specialist at Staffbase, lists 9 Reasons Email is Bad for Internal Communication which summarizes a few pain points to using traditional email, with emphasis on the inability for group collaboration.

Agenda Management

Building a meeting agenda requires close collaboration between upper management and administration to ensure that the content is aligned with the topics of discussion and the interests of the organization. Replying back and forth in email threads causes the discussion to be lost in the bulk of it all, and time to send and receive can delay the ideal communication flow. In the event that an urgent change must be made, it may be too late to notice.

Different parties must be able to communicate with each other immediately and identify which sections of the agenda needs attention. Board portals let organizers build agendas on the same platform, allowing them to see the content as it comes together. From there, they could quickly point out areas that need attention and make the needed improvements by placing annotations on specific parts of the document.

Distribution and Preparation

Email protocols are also known to be unsecure. This puts the organization’s confidential information at risk when distributing documents to board members. Tim Sandler, CEO of Tessian, even wrote on how 2017 became the year of email security breaches. Not to mention that given the amount of content and the content itself in the meeting agenda, attaching it to an email may not even be an option at times due to the risk of its confidentiality or the bulk of it.

Since board portals move all the work to an all-in-one platform, organizers can easily distribute board documents within a secure environment. The agenda and other supporting documents are also saved on the portal so that board members gain immediate access – anytime, anywhere, offline, or online. Given their busy schedules, this enables them to make necessary preparations on the go.

Post-Meeting Review

Once the meeting has finished, secretaries will send the meeting minutes to the participants via email. Directors will also make their own notes on the board packs, but accessing their notes will not be as convenient because they would have to manually send these from one director to another. Chances are the notes and minutes may be on a separate sheet of paper or file which increases the amount of clutter to be sent.

Some decisions are also made after the meeting to allow board members more time to review the documents and give the decision more thought. Once the decision is made, email as the medium for approving or disapproving votes might not be best environment for further communication. The thread-like nature of emails may not be timely enough for a discussion about the reasons behind the votes or the results of the poll.

Why switch to Board Portals?

One of Convene’s design philosophies is to replicate the natural feeling of face-to-face collaboration and move that experience to a convenient but effective solution. Board management software (also otherwise known as board portal) should be able to optimize and align all of the processes that boards partake in, such as preparing and distributing documents, reviewing agendas, making post-meeting decisions, and upholding overall transparency and accountability within the board.

Without proper communication, board collaboration is in jeopardy, but with the help of a board portal to improve communication, boards can improve efficiency and productively in and out of the boardroom.

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