Board Communications

Improving Board Director Collaboration

Corporate governance experts agree that collaboration is the key to boardroom productivity. With the help of Modern Governance tools like board management software, there is no surer way to create a cohesive and productive boardroom which in term improves board director collaboration.

A recent survey shows that Australian boards are frustrated with poor collaboration by some directors.  Some board members simply lack the skill sets needed to add value in today’s complex economy and markets. They find that it is difficult to shift the board’s priorities and mindset to the current environment. Other directors complain about poor performance by their colleagues — for example, they are failing to adequately prepare for meetings and contribute little strategic value to deliberations.

Meanwhile, in New Zealand, directors increasingly see the importance of collaboration: “A grasp of people and behaviour” should be part of the skillset of every board member, writes the New Zealand Institute of Directors. “The awareness and analysis of board and director relationships, board composition and boardroom ethics are all crucial to enabling the board to function cohesively.”

Collaboration is key to Boards of Directors’ Success

A constructive boardroom dynamic can be characterised by cohesiveness, creativity, openness and generosity, criticality, and involvement and preparations.

Collaboration reflects the ability of the board to continue working together successfully. It refers to the degree to which board members are attracted to each other and are motivated to stay on the board. Cohesiveness also includes having a good atmosphere at board meetings,” writes Professor Jonas Gabrielson of Lund University in Sweden.

Modern Governance tools help build collaboration

Today, Modern Governance tools like board management software build collaboration by facilitating communication – bringing board members together in a secure environment, wherever they may be. Globalisation has increased the geographical spread of many businesses in Australia and New Zealand, so it is essential to ensure reliable and secure means of communication.

Effective communication is at the heart of all boardroom productivity. The chairman and the company secretary must work to break down barriers of all kinds: Cultural barriers, as boards increasingly engage directors from abroad; skillset barriers, as the need for specific skills brings directors to boards who are not necessarily accustomed to talking business outside their areas of expertise, personal barriers, as some board members, inevitably, don’t get along with other ones.

Collaboration technology breaks down barriers. As governance expert Elizabeth Jameson points out: Directors should feel that the right issues are being discussed at meetings, and that they have the ability to give their views, debate, or propose matters for discussion they feel are of importance.

What is effective collaboration technology?

The next generation of collaboration technology encompasses richer communications, document sharing and co-creation all on a wide choice of devices and operating systems, as Deloitte explains in a note.

A high-quality board portal provides all of the necessary support to enable board members to communicate easily, comfortably and within a secure environment. They can message, talk, chat or collaborate on a virtual whiteboard all in real time.

But user-friendly access is just as important; board members do not have time to struggle with endless training sessions or to learn complex routines of usage. They need a board portal that they can easily adapt to the devices they prefer – one that works on all platforms. Directors can access board documents via website portal, both IOS and Android tablets or phone apps, and on a PC or a Mac.

And they need to be able to reach support wherever they are and whenever they need it.

A high-quality board portal enables all directors to maximise their time, talents and contributions – preparation for meetings, participation and follow-up are made intuitive.

Directors can access a library of documents and materials, including board books, directly on the board portal, and all communications are archived and stored there for reference. Board notes and agendas can be kept there too, and all of these documents and materials can be updated in real time, keeping everyone current and on the same page.

Board members can also take advantage of built-in risk management and compliance safeguards, such as applications that help track potential and real conflict-of-interest contexts.

And all of this takes place in an environment that is threat protected for security. The board portal should ensure that all communication is safe from prying eyes, and all material stored on the platform is encrypted.

Diligent Governance Cloud – the most advanced board management software

The Governance Cloud, the only integrated enterprise governance management solution that enables organisations to achieve best-in-class governance, is an ecosystem of software tools that digitises the various activities and tasks for the board of directors. The Governance Cloud allows boards of directors to meet the demands in the boardroom and beyond with the ability to select the products they need that help them perform their best and work within their allotted budgets.

Diligent Governance Cloud includes a board portal platform that gives board directors access to all board information at any time of day or night and every day of the year. The days of waiting for information are gone forever because directors can get real-time access to information. And tools to address board evaluations, entity management, conflict of interest, research for succession, and content management are only part of what Diligent’s board management software makes available.

Diligent Governance Cloud enables board director collaboration

Diligent Governance Cloud provides modern governance solutions that allow board members to engage with all issues online in real time. Modern governance means having the ability to communicate using a secure platform. It means having the flexibility to use any electronic device and to be able to connect with other board members any day of the year and at any time of day or night, regardless of geographical location.

But Diligent Boards is much more: the base program for agendas and board meeting planning. The platform offers state-of-the-art security so there’s no worry over cyber criminal activity. Diligent Boards integrates fully with all the software solutions that comprise Governance Cloud, a complete ecosystem of digital governance solutions. With fully integrated software solutions for meeting minutes, secure messaging tools, board self-assessments, voting, nominations, virtual data rooms and entity management, board directors can manage issues like conflict of interests using one, highly secure platform.

Diligent knows how important convenience is to board directors, so the software designers developed applications where board directors can access all the tools using their tablets and cell phones, in addition to their laptops. Diligent also offers top-notch customer service 24/7.


Board Portal Buyer’s Guide

With the right Board Portal software, a board can improve corporate governance and efficiency while collaborating in a secure environment. With lots of board portal vendors to choose from, the whitepaper contains the most important questions to ask during your search, divided into five essential categories.

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