The lack of relevant and timely communication among board members leads to inefficiencies and decreases the overall effectiveness of your board.
To combat, a board portal can better connect your board, centralize communication, keep members informed, and hold individuals responsible for deliverables.
However, not all board portals are created equal. Therefore, it is important to understand your board’s specific needs when considering which to purchase.
Map Your Current Communication Processes
The first step to assessing what board portal solution is right for your organization is to understand the communication processes currently in place. Break down current procedures to more clearly see the strengths and weaknesses of your day-to-day communication and activity.
A board’s processes can vary based on a number of factors, such as industry or board size. Some boards meet twice a month, while others may only meet once a quarter. In this example, boards meeting once a quarter may need more in-depth communication systems to stay updated during the stretches of time away from the boardroom.
Similarly, boards with a sizable amount of members may find improved communication processes beneficial. For larger boards, it can be tedious and time consuming to keep up with board member responsibilities and keep members informed. With a board portal, this task is minimized, and transparency and engagement increase.
When mapping your board’s current processes, ask yourself:
What is my board’s main mode of communication? To this question, many answer “email.” However, email threads between board members can become overwhelming and disorganized. If this is a problem for your board, a board portal with centralized communication is ideal.
Does my board struggle with meeting deadlines? Communication silos, ambiguous ownership and unclear requests are often the reasons behind consistently missed deadlines. A built-in calendar function with automated reminders can eliminate missed deadlines by improving overall communication and reminding board members of their responsibilities.
Is my board well informed? Being well informed as a board member is vital to performing efficiently. Portals containing features that allow for engaged communication encourage board members to express ideas, learn what others are doing, and stay in the loop. Consider document-sharing, voting and polling functionality, and more.
Encourage Your Board to Adopt
One obstacle you may face when implementing a board portal is an unwillingness of your board to warm up to a new system. No matter which portal option you pick, the software will not make a viable impact on the board’s efficiency if the members are not onboard.
When deciding among portals, understand the makeup of your board and how tech savvy they are. You will want to choose a platform that is easily navigable and intuitive, so that all members can quickly learn it. This provides an easier transition for members and reduces resistance to adopt. In addition, the best vendors also provide helpful support options to further simplify the adoption process.
We’ve found that the above steps and considerations help ensure a seamless transition and viable board portal implementation. What other tips would you add?
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