Article

It’s Time to Disrupt Board Meetings

red arrow disrupts circle of black arrows
Paroon Chadha Photo
Co-Founder and CEO
Passageways

3 minutes

Agile, intuitive and data-rich boardroom technology has yet to reach most board meetings. It’s time for a change.

Sponsored by CUES Supplier member OnBoard

If you serve on a board, you know that nearly every board meeting has operated in a primarily digital setting for two full years. For many boards, this digital and virtual shift unlocked an entirely new world of increased effectiveness, collaboration and agility.

In fact, according to a recent survey conducted on behalf of my company, OnBoard, 74% of board directors and executives said they increased their board’s effectiveness in the last 12 months using board management software. This is especially compelling when 81% of respondents indicate they’ll continue meeting using digital platforms for at least the next six to 12 months.

We also know that board meetings, on average, have become much shorter due to new digital formats: Analysis of anonymized activity events in our platform indicates that before 2020, the average board meeting lasted about 3.5 hours. Today, in 2022, a board meeting now averages about 2.5 hours. Boards have increased their collaborative efforts to get more done in less time.  

Now that even the most experienced board member has embraced the benefits of digital board meetings (willingly or not), it’s time to step up and give board leaders the added advantage of smart, intuitive technology that creates actionable data-based insights for better engagement and more agile board leadership.

How Can Digital Transformation Create Better Board Effectiveness?

As boards and the organizations they serve continue to adapt to and overcome new challenges, board leaders face a new choice: What’s the best tool for the job?

The promise of board technology is that it reduces administrative processes, reduces cognitive overhead, and bolsters security and compliance, thus making board meetings simpler, more informed and more effective.

Eliminating the Administrative Hassle of a Board Meeting

It’s not uncommon for credit union executive teams to spend weeks prepping for the quarterly board meeting. Not only collating all the data, documentation and strategy tied to current operations, but also curating historic data and documentation.

A board management platform speeds up this by creating a centralized repository for all board materials past and present. This one-stop shop for your executive team, directors and observers makes it easy to quickly locate, share and collaborate on board materials. It also makes onboarding new directors much faster by providing easy access to meeting materials and other important assets, such as bylaws, meeting minutes and policy statements.

Enhancing Security

Your data matters, right? And you wouldn't dream of anything less than a proactive posture to protect your company’s data and your member’s privacy. Then why wouldn’t you adopt the best security for your board materials, communications and meeting activities? A board portal with leading security and data protection protocols—such as strong, built-in encryption and accreditation as a SOC 2 Type II provider—reduces the number of endpoints available to attack.

Additionally, if the board portal or platform features user permissions and granular access controls, it will make partitioning such sensitive information such as executive compensation deliberation less cumbersome.

Accessibility and Mobility Without Compromise

Work doesn't stop when you step away from your desk. Today, board directors get their work done at the kitchen table, at the airport, in the Uber on the way to the meeting and everywhere in between. Board technology that creates a unified mobile experience with seamless cross-device hand-offs is table stakes for today’s modern board.

The future is here. We live in an era defined by increasingly prolific innovation: synthetic genomes, self-piloted vehicles and flying helicopters on Mars. The board meeting no longer needs to be tethered to the conventions of the past. Boards that embrace the best of what technology has to offer in terms of data intelligence, collaborative communication and bulletproof security will gain a significant advantage over their peers.

Paroon Chadha co-founded Passageways in 2003 and continues to lead its business strategy as CEO. He serves on boards at Passageways, Big Brother Big Sister of Greater Lafayette, Indiana; University Simon Cancer Center; and TechPoint. He was a founding member of Youwecan.org, and is an angel investor in several technology companies. Chadha is a frequent speaker at conferences and has been widely published in several magazines. In 2008, he led Passageway’s sales team to be named in the Inc. 500 list of fastest-growing businesses in America. In 2013 he was named in the Hall of Fame at Purdue University as a Purdue Innovator.

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