The board of directors is responsible for an organisation’s compliance, performance, and values. But directors often have their hands full with many different projects and responsibilities at once. It’s not uncommon to hear CEOs of major companies complain that their directors’ low level of engagement leaves much to be desired. Executives understand that they are not perfect, and in the interest of their company, they want more in-depth reviews of their own performance in order to improve. Disengaged directors can miss growing concerns with a CEO’s management, especially if they only review based on financial performance. Disinterest from chairpersons and members can quickly trickle down through an organisation and send its performance sliding. But if members are only disengaged because they don’t have the time to prioritise their governance work, can simplified communications solve the problem?
Board portal solutions may be part of the answer, but it’s important to look for more than just a file-sharing system. Follow these steps before your organisation adopts board portal software. It’s important that you match your software to your requirements.
Audit your needs: Document your processes for information distribution, meeting scheduling and invitation, updating agendas, and conducting performance reviews. Ask members and administrators how they think procedures could be improved. Find out which procedures they find frustrating or inefficient. Is it deciding whether or not management should attend a meeting or conducting the annual review? Another topic to consider is the performance expectations laid out by your organisation’s bylaws.
Consult with all stakeholders: Chairs, administrators, and executives all have a seat at the table in this decision, so let them know it. The CEO or CFO will be required to sign off on the board portal you ultimately decide on. Meanwhile, administrators and administrative assistants will provide the most valuable information on your requirements and processes.
Create a wish list: Once you’ve identified your needs, create a wish list of your wants. Separate the must-haves from the nice-to-haves, and start comparing products. Board portal solutions should offer far more than free alternatives. Basic needs include easy-to-use scheduling tools, document distribution, and both private and public annotation capacities. Equipped with experience as directors and chairs, the people behind the Aprio portal have included in their product a range of features that enable users to vote on resolutions and sign documents remotely and between meetings. Digital signatures are a secure way to overcome geographical distance. They use proprietary computer codes unique to the user.
Book demos: Once you’ve made a shortlist of products, book demonstrations for the stakeholders. If you’re still not certain what you should be looking for, visit Aprio.net and find out everything that board portal solutions can offer. It takes due diligence to get the most out of any technology upgrade. Calculate your budget, document your needs, and choose a user experience that your directors will be eager to adopt. When you’re making your final decision, don’t forget about security. The advantage of purpose-built portals like Aprio over free file-sharing services is a focus on privacy, security, and home country server hosting. Organise your boardroom today to improve engagement and make better governance a reality.