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The Board Pack Situation in Boardrooms

The management of thick board packs in and out of the boardroom has plagued all types of companies. From sifting through multiple papers to finding the right information, administrators and directors alike have experienced challenges in handling this situation.

Depending on the size of an organisation, the length of a board pack can range anywhere between 200 to more than 1,000. Aside from the enormous preparation time spent arranging board packs, board members are facing difficulties in comprehending all of the information presented to them in these thick documents.

Due to the intimidating and complicated nature of board packs, more than half of its contents are unread by directors. As a result, an organisation becomes exposed to huge risks which may threaten its image and reputation.

Best Practices in Handling Board Packs

Well-constructed board packs are the backbone of informed decisions. Below are some tips that can guide in creating one in your company.

Review the Purpose of a Board Pack

Review the Purpose of a Board Pack

Whenever there are board meetings, key personnel might feel aggravated by the immense pressure of being under the magnifying glass of directors. As a result, they will churn out hundreds of papers to support their work and findings that administrators and secretaries have to compile accordingly. However, instead of assisting board members in making the correct decisions, these board packs overwhelm them with complex technical terms and jargon. To prevent this from happening, consider asking yourself these three questions: (1) Can this be understood easily?, (2) Is it important that I include this in the board pack?, and (3) Are there ways that I can condense the information further?.

Keep it Brief and Organized

Keep it Brief and Organized

Because directors can be sitting on multiple boards, they need to be supplied with timely and accurate information. They must be able to identify salient figures at a glance. In outlining its contents, you may consider the use of bullet points or headers to divide key sections. The board pack must strike a balance between providing detailed explanations and summarizing board-related matters in a single sentence. By making your board pack systematized and concise, board members are able to gather and analyze the necessary data points needed to arrive at meaningful decisions.

Ensure Inclusion of Relevant Reports

Ensure Inclusion of Relevant Reports

Boardroom discussions are vital avenues for exchanges of ideas that can help propel the organisation forward. While the format of a board pack may vary from one company to another, at the very least, it should include the following: (1) agenda, (2) minutes of the previous meeting, (3) urgent and critical concerns of key committees with the corresponding supporting documents, (4) financial reports, and (5) major correspondences concerning board-related matters. Aside from ensuring the quality of these documents through constant reviews and revisions, they must also be able to accurately present an overview of the company’s standing.

Distribute it in a Timely and Secure Manner

Distribute it in a Timely and Secure Manner

More often than not, board packs contain confidential information. If it falls in the wrong hands, it might endanger a company’s competitive position. With many of directors constantly on the move, they need to be able to access these documents conveniently and securely wherever they are. While there are file sharing services available for free, the security of these solutions is questionable. Hacking incidents have become prevalent with numerous incidences resulting in irreversible consequences. As such, there must be a comprehensive yet secure platform that enables board members to review these files without the risk of company secrets being exposed.

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