BOARDROOM BEST PRACTICES

Board Management Software and the Board Meeting Process

Diligent's board management software & secure meeting workflow allows board members to streamline the board meeting process for the modern governance landscape.

 

Board Management Software and Board Communication

Corporate board meeting agendas are jam-packed with important issues. Prioritising issues and streamlining meetings is of the essence in accomplishing the most important board work. It takes a lot of pre-planning to address all the vital issues that board directors need to address. Workflow processes on the front end need to move quickly and securely. All board meeting participants need lots of information and data as early as possible in the process. A slowdown in the pre-meeting process easily translates to breakdown and inefficiency in the meeting process.

How long has it been since your board took a good look at your pre-meeting, meeting, and post-meeting workflows? Are your data and communications secure as you move through these processes? How sure are you that you’re not facing unnecessary risks? Are board members complaining that they need more time to review materials before board meetings? Are you dealing with any especially sensitive issues right now?

In reviewing your workflows, it calls to attention which digital tools your board and management teams are using. Are there any risks of one program or application infecting another with malware or a virus? With the media reporting so many accounts of data breaches, it’s time to acknowledge that technology can be our enemy as much as it can be our friend.

The surest way to improve your board workflows and maintain confidence that your board work is confidential is to use Diligent board management software. With the faith in knowing that every email communication and every document and file are protected, your board can freely address every item on the agenda with the proper priority and give it the proper time that it demands.

Multiple Major Corporate Issues Being Addressed During Board Meetings

It merely takes a quick look at the business news to learn how many issues corporate boards have to contend with. The following issues top the list:

  • CEO pay ratios
  • Shareholder activism
  • Risk management
  • Cybercrime
  • Board composition and diversity
  • Conflict of interest
  • Transparency and accountability
  • Strategy and oversight
  • Compliance and regulatory matters

Who knows what additional issues tomorrow’s headlines will bring? Boards need a strong board chair and the use of all the tools they have at their disposal to work at top efficiency.

Taking Caution When Streamlining Board Processes

In the haste to streamline board meetings and get to all the crucial items on the board’s agenda, it can be easy to overlook important issues like security. By failing to ensure that all board communications are secure, boards risk unintentionally creating new problems, which only stands to compound the existing issues.

If a data breach should occur, the board will need to direct its full attention to the crisis. That means that all the other issues they should be dealing with get put on the back burner. There’s no telling when the crisis will die down enough to get back to the regular business.

Barring any crises, are your board members getting reports and other board materials in time to actually read them, evaluate them, and ask any clarifying questions before the meeting? Diligent Messenger, a secure messaging tool, gets those questions to the intended recipient securely because they never leave the secure platform.

Board management software improves your workflow because it allows you to update the board agenda and make last minute changes to materials in real time. There’s no concern over missing papers or reports and no worries about documents slipping out of a board book binder and getting into the wrong hands. That situation could be worse if you’d handwritten confidential notes on any of the papers. Board management software lets you transfer files and documents large or small, with or without your markups on them, and keep them protected along the way.

Dangers of Not Having a Secure Workflow Process in Place

When was the last time that your board took a critical look at your current board and management workflows? Are you still using large binders with numerous pages in them? Are you still using your personal email account to discuss issues with other board directors? What program do you use to send or receive files? Google Drive or Dropbox? If so, you may be putting your files at unnecessary risk.

If your board isn’t using Diligent board management software, your files could be confiscated while in storage or while being transferred. Your emails could be hacked and made public before you wake up in the morning. In essence, your board work becomes a sitting duck for cybercrime.

What Risks Do Organisations Run by Not Using the Right Technology to Communicate to the Board?

Boards that don’t use secure board management software run a host of risks. In addition to having to put important board business on hold to deal with a crisis, a data breach means that you could have lost personally identifiable information. That by itself will set off a chain reaction of other risks. You could lose the confidence of your shareholders. You may be in violation of laws such as GDPR. Your company may have to incur the cost of deploying a forensic cyber team to secure your system and identify the damage. One opening for cybercrime can cause your company to lose its competitive edge and the reputation and branding that you worked so hard to build.

What Advantage Is There for the Board in Using Board Management Software?

The greatest advantage of using board management software is that it takes the worry out of communicating and collaborating. With worry behind them, boards can set to work and focus on it fully, and without distractions.

If a board director loses or misplaces a cell phone, tablet, or laptop at the airport, the remote wiping feature wipes it clean and the cybercriminal nets a big fat nothing. By utilising a board management system, board directors are less on edge and can let their creativity and imaginations flow.

How Does This Create More Visibility?

A board management system helps to control the lines of communication. Boards need to work closely with managers without micromanaging them. When the lines of communication breakdown, board members are often left out of the loop. Boards can use settings to authorise certain work groups so they can get involved in the processes earlier and offer guidance and suggestions as soon as managers need them. Early intervention may mean that boards can work with managers on problems before they get out of control.

The risks of not using secure board management software are palpable. In today’s marketplace, it takes just one wrong click for risks to blossom overnight. Diligent Boards and Governance Cloud are the top industry solutions for secure file-sharing and streamlining board processes to position your company for success now and in the future.

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