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The art of renewing the board meeting

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10 years ago, almost no one talked about meeting culture. Today it’s different and most of us are painfully aware of how much of our time is spent in meaningless meetings.

Many of today’s board meetings have looked exactly the same, year after year. Just like everything else, they too would benefit from renewal to better meet today’s challenges and demands.

Most articles on the topic of “efficiency in the boardroom” are usually about the design of the agenda and that it should be sent out in advance.

But what if there are other, more fun ways to innovate and streamline your board meetings? Here we have gathered 4 alternative and creative ways to renew the board meeting, all proven by leading companies.

Let yourself be inspired and dare to think new!

Start your board meetings with silence

Amazon’s CEO, Jeff Bezos proudly declared in 2018 that they have the “weirdest meeting culture the world has ever seen.” A rather fitting opening to this article.

Bezos says every board meeting at the company begins with half an hour of silence. Instead of someone presenting a Powerpoint presentation, the meeting begins with silence where each member reads a memo in narrative format about the company during the first 30 minutes.

The format of storytelling ensures that everyone can absorb the content, a well-told story is easier to remember and be inspired by, instead of endless bulleted lists in Powerpoint.

Only when everyone has read the memo in its entirety can the discussions and the meeting begin. Bezos argues that their structure for meetings is probably the smartest thing they’ve done to get engaged directors and push the company forward.

Bezos always has an empty chair next to him at all board meetings. The chair symbolizes the customer, a clear indication that it is the customer’s needs that should be at the center when the board makes its decisions.

An easy way to focus right?

Get more time with a digital board portal

Make sure everyone takes part of the company information

The former CEO of Xobni, John Bonforte, also discarded the use of Ppt presentations. It was instead replaced by a magazine format, inspired by Forbes and Fortune, both in design and content.

The design was of a journalistic nature where the company’s progress, new employees and new functions were effectively presented. Highlighting the information in this way gave the board members no excuses not to read and engage with the content and the issues that the company had in front of it.

But the most bizarre feature was probably the little ones “Controls” as Bonforte left in the text to ensure that everyone really read and partook of the content. The controls could consist of “If you’re reading this, then you should wink at me during this part of the meeting“, or “If you don’t ask me about this, then I know you didn’t read this“.

Bonfortes opined that if you didn’t prepare properly, well, then it was pointless to even attend the meeting.

Changing the environment

Richard Branson, founder of the Virgin Group, is one of the many prominent leaders who advocate getting out of the boardroom. To promote new ideas and innovative thinking, board meetings with Richard Branson are usually so-called walking meetings. But there is one company that has taken this a step further…

Michael Gleason, chairman and founder of Consumer Brands LLC, benefits from its location on the beaches of Southern California. “Our board meetings are surfing meetings on the beach, wearing flipflops instead of formal attire” Creating a different kind of atmosphere helps creative thinking, to think outside the box.

Transparency

Netflix has always been characterized by an innovative culture where transparency and information sharing are one of the mainstays. This also includes the boardroom.

Netflix has developed a completely unique way of information sharing with the aim of increasing transparency between the CEO, the management team and the board.

Board members frequently attend management team meetings throughout the year. In this way, the board member gets a direct understanding of how their strategic decisions are translated into action and how their decisions work in reality, outside the boardroom.

Board members are also encouraged to continuously meet with members of the management team and other staff to really understand the business in depth.

Even Netflix has scrapped Ppt. presentations in favor of so-called. Online memos in narrative form with direct links to in-depth data and analysis that are open to all key people at the company.

With their structure, they have effectively succeeded in reducing the gap that so often arises between management and the board. The board understands and knows the company in depth and can thus make much better decisions.

Of course, this structure requires a much greater amount of work from the board members, but according to themselves, it is more rewarding and more fun to work in this way.

Renew the board meeting

Board meetings only make sense if it moves things forward. The companies in this article have successfully dared to innovate and know how to get maximum value from their board.

A committed board is an important success factor for running successful companies. Dare to think new and renew your board meetings to promote innovation!

Get help from modern solutions

Lack of time is something most people in leadership positions struggle with. The demands are high and it is difficult to keep up. Maybe it feels like a utopia that your board should have time to test and investigate new ways of working?

Today, there are many secure digital solutions that can simplify and automate complex processes. The solutions save both time and resources while your company can work safely.

One of these solutions is Boardeaser. Boardeaser is the only solution on the market today that can offer a professional board portal, reporting and governance, in one and the same platform.

Boardeaser facilitates all parts of your management and board work. The platform keeps track of documents and agreements, simplifies the meeting process, includes E-signing and automated reporting, and much more. You only pay for the parts you want to use.

Want to know more? Book a free personal demo and try it free for 30 days! Completely unbiased!

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