One of the biggest threats to successful board management is a lack of communication among members. It is a challenge to find a board that remains in-sync on the latest board activity, issues, meetings, and events.
Strong leadership is the backbone of good communication within your board. It is the chair and CEO that set the tone and practices necessary to maintain a clear flow of information. The most efficient way to do this is to set a regular schedule of meetings and events that senior leaders attend consistently. Members will be highly motivated to attend if they know that their presence will be noted by the chair and CEO. Additionally, if senior members are always present, each meeting will have the burden of being efficient and full of pertinent information.
Having a consistent schedule makes it easier for members to plan to attend meetings and makes members more mindful of their responsibility to the board. It also gives them an opportunity to prepare for each event and gives the Board Secretary ample time to send updates and agendas ahead of each meeting. A structured calendar that contains all important information, anticipates attendance and sends out updates and reminders prepares board members for a successful meeting. It also prevents redundant information and useless discussions in the boardroom. It’s helpful to set a clear agenda with time allotments for each topic and attach this to the calendar.
It’s also important that each board member’s individual responsibilities are clear so that each person knows what they need to contribute and what updates they need to follow or prepare. Boards should have a system that lists each member’s duties and tracks their activity so that members stay accountable and motivated. In addition, it’s important to have a place where people can post updates and comment on each other’s needs. A good accountability system can make the difference between a stagnant board and a flourishing organization.
At the end of the day, for board communication to be successful each member must be intrinsically motivated and personally connected. Any communication or collaboration tools that increase the stake a member has in each meeting or issue will help increase their participation. Building meaningful relationships between board members, chairs, and CEO’s boosts such connectivity, especially if members seek advice from senior leadership or if the chair or CEO asks a member for their input. This can happen beyond the boardroom–-an active discussion platform online is quick, effective, and just as personal.
Board management software powers communication among board members on multiple fronts. A well-rounded system provides a central location for meetings, upcoming events, discussions, and keeps members engaged with updates throughout the day, week, and month. The more that members communicate and participate, the faster the organization evolves.
To improve your board’s communication practices, sign up for a Board Management trial today.