It’s often been said that experience is a difficult teacher, giving the test first and the lesson only after. But even minor mistakes can be costly in fields as dynamic – if not volatile – as business and corporate governance, leading to wasted time, resources, productivity and opportunities.
To maximise operations and results, more and more companies are exploring the benefits of adopting new technology like a board portal. But as with most digital solutions, it may take others more time and effort to fully embrace the paperless route.
One way to climb the learning curve is studying the experiences of others and learning from them – especially from their mistakes. Another way is exhausting all possible outcomes and setbacks then anticipating solutions for each.
Each organisation will have unique experiences of their own, but all will share common challenges when starting out with board portals.
Whether you’re a full-fledged techie or a self-proclaimed technophobe, use these tips to stop making avoidable mistakes and to start making virtual boardrooms work for you:
Is someone from your board of directors apprehensive about the digital shift? When an organisation decides to implement paperless meetings, there’s bound to be a laggard or two who remains on the fence about the idea. What’s worse, using and maximising the software might come more naturally for some than for others.
Solution: Even if board portals come with comprehensive instruction manuals, it’s important to take into account the training needs of every user in your organisation. Organise a hands-on demo session for your team to give everyone the opportunity to navigate the software and its features together in real time. Adopt a buddy system, and help technologically challenged users overcome their fear of the unfamiliar by pairing them with more adept colleagues.
2) Time difference
The beauty of virtual meetings is the ability to conduct remote meetings anytime, anywhere. One caveat to this, however, is the logistical challenge posed by coordinating with participants from different time zones. Preventable oversights and conflicts of schedule put productivity at risk, delaying key business agenda as well as wasting precious time and resources.
Solution: The general solution is to include resources for time zone conversion in your meeting pack, such as links to time zone converter sites or reference materials. Schedule your meetings within a single time zone and double-check the equivalent time converted by other participants.
For a more hassle-free experience, invest in collaboration tools that offer full support for daylight saving time on both PCs and mobile devices. Its latest update eliminates the need to second-guess or calculate time zone differences as well, since the mobile app now automatically converts and displays date/time values based on the local time of your device.
Even the most disciplined of professionals can’t attest to having laser-like focus on meetings all the time. Skeptics of board portals are especially wary of mobile devices as a source of distraction – and with good reason, given the plethora of apps stored in each device. Others would say the danger of being sidetracked is even greater for remote meetings, where there is no one to monitor you and what you are doing – or, more tellingly, what you are not doing – on your device.
Solution: Streamline your agenda. The key to the success of any meeting is efficient preparation. Agree on the issues and prepare all materials beforehand, but be prepared for developments and deviations from the discussion. In line with this, board portals give conveners the flexibility to update the agenda at any point, even while the meeting is ongoing. Most importantly, ensure that all participants are on the same page – literally and figuratively – with enhanced features like across-the-board screen locking and a real-time laser pointer.
With almost 80% of organisations proactively reducing their paper use, the bring-your-own-device (BYOD) policy is fast catching on as a boardroom practice. But regardless of how expensive or features-packed a board portal may be, its very purpose as a collaboration tool is defeated if access is limited to certain users or platforms.
Indeed, there is little else more disappointing than diligently preparing for a critical remote meeting, only to find out that not everyone can participate because their devices are not compatible with your virtual boardroom software.
Solution: Users avail of board portals for a host of reasons, but foremost among them is the need to collaborate with as many people as possible in real time. Among the leading software solutions for paperless meetings, Convene delivers the total virtual boardroom experience with full multi-platform support for PC, iOS and Android. In life as in board portals, why settle for what’s good when you can have what’s best?
People often overlook the fact that the most important aspect of a meeting is not only what participants contribute, but especially what they take away from it. For many, note-taking is an effective way to process, retain and act on information.
That’s why advocates of traditional meetings are quick to point out that in spite of technological advancements, there will always be people partial to making handwritten notes instead of tapping away at physical or on-screen keyboards.
Solution: Cut costs and get the best of both worlds with paperless productivity software that lets you handle digital files the same way you would use physical ones. For instance, Convene gives you not only the freedom to annotate, draw figures, flag important pages and leave sticky notes on your meeting files, but also the option of sharing the same with your fellow participants. Just like its namesake, the Whiteboard feature even enables multiple users to write or draw on a blank white space to convey their ideas to everyone in the meeting.
Have you encountered any or all of these common virtual boardroom mistakes, or perhaps know some that weren’t mentioned here?
How did you address them?
Sound off on the comments section below and let’s conceptualise solutions together!