The journey is just as important as the destination. It’s true of life, and it’s also true of board meetings. The transition from paper-based systems to digital solutions is not necessarily a smooth road, but it’s one filled with lessons to be learned for everyone involved, from corporate secretaries to the members of the board and all the administrative staff in between.
Support in the transition stage is critical because of the learning curve that comes with using new technology. Digital board books, for that matter, are just a component of a bigger kind of technology: the board portal software which makes use of iPads, Android tablets, and the cloud. Fortunately, many directors already use their own mobile devices so it’s not as if paperless board meetings are a completely alien concept to them. Nevertheless, they will still need training before they become expert users of a specific system.
If your company is about to implement a board portal solution, make sure to choose a solution that’s easy to use in the first place; otherwise, you risk alienating users when they start feeling frustrated and resistant during training. For this reason, go for a simple and intuitive graphic user interface with a smooth navigation system, and not for anything fancy or complicated. You’ll have more time in the future for those, but for now, you simply need users to get comfortable with a straightforward systems Also, shop for providers who offer training sessions during the delivery and service support after the delivery. You’ll never know what kind of problems users will encounter along the way, so it’s good to have someone to consult when something goes wrong in the future. But take note that different users will require different kinds of training. Corporate secretaries should be trained on how to put together a digital board pack and on other administrative tasks, while directors should be trained on how to make annotations in meeting documents and on other managerial responsibilities. Therefore, it isn’t enough for board portal vendors to to offer general training session. They should also offer tailored training sessions for the system’s different user groups.
Of course, board portal vendors shouldn’t be the only source of support for your users. Prepare your IT department to handle issues common with using a board portal software for the first time, such as security and compatibility (among many other things), because there’s no question that users will approach them for help. In most companies, the IT department is the go-to department for all things technical, so might as well make them serve as an additional support system for users who need immediate assistance during the transition.
Change is never easy, but with the right kind of support, difficulties can be turned into challenges. It’s true of life, and it’s also true of board meetings.