The world is getting more complex – including for businesses. Management teams need to use all their entrepreneurial skills during their regular meetings to put the company on the right track for the future. There are multiple points to discuss and managers’ decisions have significant consequences. That’s all pretty clear. But how does this work in practice – preparing decisions and passing resolutions?
Reading huge piles of documents is becoming a thing of the past. And there’s never enough time for discussions anyway. That makes established processes and timely document delivery even more important.
1. Good preparation is half the battle
The preparation of meetings and decision-making can be a bit of a nightmare for some companies. Teams tasked to deliver information often have very tight deadlines. No wonder many of them put in a few night shifts before a meeting. And they need to clear things with managers and other departments as well as preparing the decision proposal. That explains why information requested from contributors only arrives at the last minute – or is delivered late.
And the company secretary’s office doesn’t have things any easier. They also have their hands full managing information delivery deadlines and sending out reminders to people for overdue documents. They normally do that by phone or – for reasons of formality – by email. Reminders may be automated if they have a system that supports this function. Staff often build some extra time into their deadlines so that if someone is late delivering documents, there’s less risk of the entire meeting pack being delayed.
Although a sense of urgency is required, board meetings shouldn’t lead to a state of emergency every time one is planned.
2. Streamline the meeting pack
When board papers arrive, they’re combined into one document and consolidated into a meeting pack. This can be done manually or at the click of a button, assuming the system supports that function. Meeting documents in paper format are becoming increasingly rare now.
There are several advantages to digital board packs, such as fast delivery. And in our experience, many board members are digitally savvy. They appreciate being able to access meeting documents on their tablet or with a browser. That way, they always have their mobile office at hand and can comment on documents anytime and anywhere.
An important requirement here is secure storage, as board packs usually contain a whole range of confidential information.
3. Decision making made more EFFICIENT
The clearer the layout of a board pack is – like a consolidated PDF with a consistent cover sheet and interactive index – the easier it will be to navigate through each of the meeting agenda points. The quality and clarity of meeting documents make discussions and the adoption of resolutions significantly easier.
Resolutions are carried out in the meeting by a show of hands or – if the company has the right software – by a click of a button, which facilitates decision documentation. The digital option is a great advantage when board members are voting by phone or video conference. An important point here is that decisions that don’t need detailed discussion can be formalised outside of board meetings.
4. Meeting follow up
The company secretary’s team also looks after follow-ups when the meeting is over. Staff first create the meeting minutes, including the decisions taken. A good system can provide individual extracts from the meeting minutes to inform employees and departments of decisions and tasks relevant to them, along with any deadlines.
The more disciplined the collaboration is, the less effort it takes. But in reality, it’s a lot of work due to repeated approval cycles and the fact that many tasks are manual. The company secretary’s staff also need to mediate between the management team and the departments.
What are the advantages of digital meeting management?
Board and management meetings are recurrent routines that companies can make much more efficient by using software to support meeting preparation and follow-up tasks.
Key functions here include process support for automated deadline and approval management, meeting documentation and distribution, meeting minutes and the post-meeting follow up. These are workflows that recur again and again.
With Brainloop’s BoardSuite, you get a workflow-oriented solution that supports all these processes. The documents are always encrypted. That goes for the information on board members’ tablets too – the documents are encrypted within their own app. The solution includes granular access permissions that protect your confidential documents. And the tamper-proof audit trail ensures the traceability of every access to a document.
The result? Company secretarial staff find their work less stressful, while management benefits from the timely delivery of documents and efficient decision-making – not to mention the follow-up and the communication around it. Wondering what the solution can do for you? Just download the Brainloop BoardSuite factsheet.