Reducing Reputational Risk for Your Higher Education Organisation

Diligent host: Good morning everyone and thanks for taking the time to join today’s webinar with Diligent. Today’s webinar will be on the subject of reducing reputational risk for your higher education organisation. I’m joined today by my colleague MyXa Elgstedt who’s the sales and business development manager in London for the education sector.

Before I hand you over to MyXa in just a few seconds, I have a couple of house keeping notes. Today’s webinar will be thirty minutes long. We are recording it and we will provide a copy of the recording in the next 24 hours. Please feel free to forward this along to any colleagues or board members who may not have been able to join today’s webinar. We do welcome questions throughout the webinar so if you’d like to ask us a question you can do so via the go-to webinar panel on the right hand side of your screen. We’ll answer as many questions as we can during the webinar and anything that we don’t have time for will come back to you over email. Finally, we do have a couple of polls today and we would very much appreciate if you could participate.

With that, I’m going to hand you over to MyXa. Thank you very much everyone.

MyXa Elgstedt: Thank you very much. Good morning everyone. As Holly mentioned, my name is MyXa Elgstedt, and I’m the sales and business development manager at Diligent, specifically focusing on the higher education sector here in the UK. You probably noticed, based on my name, and accent, that English is not my first language. If I speak too fast, which happens quite often, just let me know by using the chat function and I will do my best to slow down.

The agenda for today, I will go through from left to right, what is reputational risk and why it matters to you. Then we are going to look how consistent help reduce reputational risk. We will also take a look at a typical process from an administrators view at creating and delivering board meeting materials and how directors can receive, reviewing it, and annotate the information. Finally, I am very pleased to show how it all works together on the Diligent boards system.

Before we get down to that, it will be interesting to see how people are collating their materials. You will see now a poll asking the question, “How are your documents being currently distributed?” As you can see, there are five options for you to choose. One, documents are printed and delivered by courier. Two, documents are created as a PDF first and then sent via email. Three, you may using a solution like DropBox or Google Drive for file sharing. Four, you may be using your own custom develop in house tools. The final option you may already be using a board portal such as Diligent provides. We are just waiting a few seconds before closing the poll and then displaying the result in a moment.

As we can see, here now … one moment, bare with us, we’re still waiting for the vote. As we can see, the majority of you are using PDF and sent via email and then the second part are using paper. This is not a surprise, obviously. The result is pretty much align with our previous surveys that we have done before. The typical concerns that we see around PDF and email are one or two things. First of all, the usability around it. It’s not as easy to navigate around the PDF. The second part is the security around sending documents in PDF and via email.

Reputation matters. We can all agree that reputation is important. For example, reputation is one aspect of why people choose university or higher education establishment. Just thinking back when I was choosing a university, the criteria that I had besides for the subject I wanted to study and where the university was located, was its reputation, hoping that it will help me to land a job at a potential employer when I graduate. Today we can see that universities have become a huge business. According to a 2014 report by Universities UK, they calculated that actually universities in the UK are contributing as much as 73 billion pounds on the annual basis to the national economy. This is almost 3% of the UK GDP. In order to compete in the higher education marketplace, the governing bodies must be prepared to respond swiftly to the rapid regulatory financial and technological changes.

Also, in this digital age with the social media and all, it is where the news gets out very fast, it is also important to avoid any potential reputational risk. As you probably know, cyber security … there are many different kinds of crisis. Cyber security is one of them. Here are a few examples of the data breaches we hear. The history tells us about that damage caused by corporate crisis is usually determined more by the quality of the response than by the severity of the crisis itself. Take TalkTalk for example, as you see in your upper-right corner there. I know it’s not related to the higher education sector, however, it is something that happened not too long ago, and most people are probably aware of it. Last year in October, the company TalkTalk was hacked and their customers personal details were stolen. When this became public, one of the questions that was raised to the CEO of TalkTalk was whether [inaudible 07:21] and was it encrypted. At the time, the CEO wasn’t able to provide any answers at all. When the same question came up 80 hours later, the CEO was still not able to give any response to that. In this case, if the CEO had instead been able to respond swiftly and honestly, that would have possibly created an opportunity to show decisive leadership and a commitment to values.

We all know when a crisis occurs, spotlight usually falls on the CEO, but, handling a crisis successfully is normally the result of a great team work among the CEO, board of trustees, and board secretary. The board must provide its advice and experience to the management. It must also safeguard the interest of their shareholders. In the case of higher education, the boards, the donors, taxpayers, citizens, and students. All of that falls under the board secretary to ensure that the processes are followed, documentation is kept, and information flows smoothly, and this requires planning in advance. Broadly speaking, two things need to be in place. One, establish a crisis management plan. Second, develop a communication infrastructure. Here as you can see are some of the common features of a crisis. Often, the situation rises unexpectedly. Take the same example with TalkTalk. Everything was fine, business as usual, until they got hacked. What happens after that point? Yes, it requires urgent decision, immediately. During that period, the time is very short and critical information needs to be received instantly.

Here are four requirements that you should look for in a system that would help in reducing reputational risk. The first one is minimise risk of overlooking crucial information. You want to have a system where all the critical information are in place and easy for you to search for. Second of all, it should allow immediate access to critical information wherever you are in the world. As mentioned in the previous slide, crisis happen unexpectedly and you never know where you are and it has to be at your fingertips to access those information. Obviously, all the information that are confidential you want it to be secure. Finally, you want the system to promote collaboration amongst board members. In this digital age, difernet people sits in different location and that system needs to allow effective collaboration.

What is a board portal? A board portal is a faster, better, and more secure way for your administrative stuff to prepare and deliver to board materials. It’s a faster, easier, and secure way for your board members to instantly access that information at their fingertip. Here, what you see now, is what I would say a typical process from an administrative’s perspective. On the left hand side, you see the different departments of the organisation who might contribute content to the board material. That content can come in a wide variety of format, like Excel files, Word, PDF, PowerPoint, etc. It is the responsibility of the administrative in the middle, as you can see on the picture there, to pull all the information together and collate it into a board meeting package to send out to the directors in time for them to review ahead of the meeting. Also, you can see on the right hand side on the bottom, there are maybe updates that are provided and need to be catered for. For example, last minute papers or additions to come in and including those in a way so that the directors can work more efficiently. Once you have sent the package to your directors in the old way, when you are using papers, they will receive at the doorstep. When they receive it, they will like to usually review it, make some notes, share the comments, and photo on that.

Now I am going to go into to show you how it actually work with our system. Bear with me a moment. I’m going to just switch to our system. Here. Currently what you see is the landing page of the admin view. This is a quite powerful tool. It can be highly configured according to way you work. You don’t need to change your current workflow. Today, on this session, I am going to show you how easy it is to build a board meeting group in just a few minutes compared to using paper who usually takes a couple of days. What you do is, you simply right click on the mouse and here you choose create book from scratch. It will ask you to choose a meeting date, so if your board meeting is on, for example, 21st of June, you just choose that and then you enter the title name. I am just going to enter June Counsel Meeting, for example, and click “OK”. What you see now is a blank page, here is where you create the structure of your board book.

I am going to show how easy it is to upload all your documents into our system using the bulk upload functionality. As I showed you in the admin slide process before, usually you collect all your documents and you put it in a folder like this. As you can see, all the folders, in the folders I have all the different files in different formats, in PDFs, in PowerPoint, Word, Image, spreadsheet, etc. What’s good about this is you don’t need to convert it to PDF first. You can just use the original format as it is. What you do is you simply click on that folder and you drag it over to our system and then release.

Here it will ask you how you will like your tabs structured. Most of our customers will like to have every document have its own section. Under the tab structure, I am just going to click on create tab for file. You can see it automatically lay out the format for you and you just click import. What it does now is it quickly uploads into our system. The moment you click import, the files will be encrypted and then uploaded into our server in Germany, securely. Then, it will convert it into our own format. Actually, when it has been uploaded 50%, it has done most of the work. You can actually turn off your laptop and do something else. For example, making yourself a coffee or a tea and relax and just wait until it finish, like this, as you can see.

The next step for you to do now is to approve this. To do so, you simply click on the approve button. You don’t need to click it on every single one of them, you just need to click it once and it will take you to the approve page. Here you will see on the left side the structure and on the right side the documents. You can have two steps approval process or just one step. If you have a two steps approval process usually you just approve the content, but it’s not ready to publish it yet. When you are ready to publish it, you just approve it final. In this example, I’m just going to approve the content for it to be ready to be published, since everything looks good to me. I’m going to go to approve final here, and here you have some choices. You can either approve document by document, section by section, or the entire book. I’m happy with the entire book so I’m just going to approve it like this. Then I’m going to click yes. What you see here on the left hand side is it has changed colour from red to black, and that’s how you know you have approved this and it’s ready to be published. I’m just going to close the approve window here.

Now, it’s important for you to publish to your directors. To do so, you go to the upper left side on the book status here. It says “Hidden”. You simply click on it and you go and you change from “Hidden” to “Current”. Once you’ve done that and click “Ok”, that means now it has been published to your directors. All your directors who are sitting in that committee can see the documents. To notify it, you can use our built in email system here, and click on it. It will then automatically pop-up all your board members email addresses and you just let them know “Hey, a new board book has been published. Please review this.” You press send, and it will be sent to your directors. That is how easy it is to create a board meeting book from scratch and publish it to your directors.

Before I end this, I would like to show you some other scenarios. For example, as I mentioned, you might get late papers. What happens when you get late papers and you need to replace a document? You just open the folder where the document is, you click on the document you would like to replace it with, and you drag it over on the existing document and you release. Here you can click “Mark as Revised” saying “New Agenda”, for example, to let your directors to know what has been changed. You simply click upload and in a few seconds you will see the agenda here it will be changed to “Agenda Version 1”. Let’s say you need to complement with additional documents. To do that, you just click on the documents you would like to add. It can be two, or three, or as many as you like. You just drag it over to the section you would like to add it. Either it’s in the minutes or in the CEO report, and it can be before or after existing documents. The same way when you replace the document, you just release your mouse and you click “Upload, No preview”. That’s how you add additional documents.

The final scenario could be, for example, your agenda has changed and you need to change the structure. To do so, I’m going to just click on collapse all tabs here for you to easily see. Let’s say the investment plans are now going to be before the CEO report. You just click on that tab section and you drag it above like this and release, and the system will automatically reorder it for you like this, as you can see. That’s how easy you reorder your structure. The good thing is you don’t need to remember which page number it was because that would be automatically remembered for you, in the system. This is from the admin side. Now I would like to show you how it works from a director’s perspective.

Bear with me a moment, I’m going to switch to my iPad using AirServer who’s going to mirror so you can see my iPad screen. As you can see now. Full screen. Here is an application for the iPad on the directors view. To access it, you simply type in your unique user name and password. Once you’ve done that, it will ask you to select a board. Some of your directors may sit on multiple boards for different universities or different companies, and if all of those are using Diligent solution, they may access those different boards with one login, which makes it easier to remember one password. Here, I sit on four different boards. I would like to enter Gamma University. I simply press on that and it will take me there. As you can see, this is the bookshelf view of all the committees I’m allowed to see. Here you can see I sit on the academic council, the audit, and the finals committee.

We just created a new board book and publish it, so as a director we’ll see it as new. To access it, you simply tap on the circle on the book and it will download a secure and encrypted copy down to my device. Now, once it has been downloaded, even if I’m travelling, don’t have any internet access, I can still review the documents. If you created any late papers updates, it will see here as “Updates Available”. Same here, you download it by tapping the circle. The difference between the new one is the new one download the full, complete book, which if it’s 200 pages, 300 pages it does that, while the updates only download those updates. You can see the updates immediately by tapping the update history here. Instead of like with hard copies or PDF you have to scroll and find where the updates are, you tap on it and it will immediately tell you where those are and if you got there, it takes you to that specific page.

Now, I’m going to open the book that I have downloaded. You can do so by either tapping the book or tapping “Go to the Agenda”. As you can see, we have made it very simple and it is not too overly complicated. This is meant to have a feel and work like a book. Unlike PDFs, you scroll endlessly to the very end page, this fits nicely within the screen. To navigate around it, you can simply swipe or tap to the right to move forward, like this. Tap to the left to move backwards. On the bottom of the screen, you can see there is a slider. You can use that one to scroll to the specific section or the page you would like to go to, and you can do that through the entire book, you do not have to go in and out of sections. Let’s say the chairman or the chief executive saying “Let’s all go to page 100”. You can do so by simply tapping on the lower bottom corner here and you can type “100” and tap “Go” and it will take you there.

Some of the directors might like to have the agenda next to the document. That is easily done by tapping on your upper left corner on the icon there. You can see it takes you there. If you tap on any section, like the financial section, the credit release report, it will take you there. That’s how easy it is to navigate around the book.

The final thing that the directors will like to do is, for example, if they go to a specific page and they would like to make some notes, they can do so by tapping the pen icon here. Here you can either choose to highlight, very simple like this, or you can use the pen to scribble some notes, like this. If you would like to write longer notes, you just simply use the sticky note like this. By default everything are saved as private. However, if you would like to share it with others, you can do that by tapping the private icon here. Once you’ve done that, you can choose to share with everyone in that meeting group or specific users. If I have a specific question, I choose her, I press “Ok” to confirm, and then click “Share”. That’s how easy you share it with others. If you have come to a specific page and you don’t have any time to make any notes, you can simply bookmark by tapping on your upper right corner. That’s how easy it is for the directors to receive information, reviewing it, and make notes.

That was what I wanted to show you from the admin side and from the directors side. Just bear with me while I change back. What I wanted to show you is a few numbers by Diligent. I’m not going to go through everything. What I wanted to highlight from this slide is that we have currently over 4,000 customers. In those, over 100 education and colleges worldwide. What I’m most proud to tell you about is our client retention rate. We have one of the highest client retention rate in the industry. Out of those 4,000 customers, 99% continuously renew and that is down to our services and support that we provide. Now I would like to hand it back to see if there is any questions.

Diligent host: Thanks MyXa. We are actually running a little short on time, so we have had a number of questions through but we will make sure we’ll come back to you over email on those just to make sure we’ve answered all of your questions. In the interest of time, we will move onto the final slide of today. If you’d like to learn more about Diligent, you can visit our website www.diligent.com and there you’ll find lots of different resources from white papers, case studies from our existing customers, including a number of public sector customers. You will also have the option to schedule a demonstration. You may have just seen MyXa’s contact details on the slide before but in case you didn’t I will send out a copy of those in the email that I send you later on today or tomorrow morning with a copy of the recording. All that remains for us to say is thank you very much for joining us today, we hope you found the demonstration and presentation useful, and we look forward to hearing from you soon. Thank you very much and have a great day. Bye.

  • Reputation matters. We can all agree that reputation is important.
  • In this digital age with the social media and all, it is where the news gets out very fast, it is also important to avoid any potential reputational risk.