How a Board of Director’s Portal Can Enhance Decision Making
By Mark Anderson, CEO/CFO | Posted July 31, 2017
Sound decision making is critical to corporate governance, which is the system that determines how companies are directed, controlled and perform. And a board of director’s portal can significantly enhance the overall decision making process for board members.
Decision making is a pretty structured and meticulous process. And it begins long before a conclusion is ever reached—regardless of the problem, opportunity or issue at hand. Decision making results in choosing a course of action from several possibilities. The process typically involves gathering information, analyzing a situation, developing options, evaluating alternatives, and selecting alternatives. And all of these steps can be facilitated by communication and collaboration.
That brings me back to the topic of a board of director’s portal. There are a number of ways a board portal can help directors improve their ability to make decisions. First, a board of director’s portal can create a secure digital environment where organizations can produce, distribute and store board materials. It can give directors online access to all the information they need to prepare for board meetings. They can view board packets, agenda updates, minutes and other meeting files via Web browser or iPad app. They can also access policies, procedures, details about products and services, and other important corporate information.
Having instant availability to meeting materials and corporate data gives directors the most accurate, up-to-date and reliable information. They can use this information to make more informed and timely decisions for their organization. Then the directors can be in a better position to resolve problems and capitalize on promising opportunities.
Ease and Convenience
Since a board portal gives directors electronic access to board materials and corporate data, it makes it easier for them to browse through the information ahead of time. (They don’t have to wait for board packets to arrive in the mail before they start prepping for meetings.) They can also use the portal and other sources to conduct additional research to enhance their knowledge of the upcoming topics of discussion.
And because a board portal allows members to access pertinent information remotely, they can discuss documents without having to gather a face-to-face meeting. They can meet virtually to discuss important details, strategies and other issues. And since directors don’t have to travel to meet in person for side discussions, they can have more time to weigh their options. Then it will be easier for them to have more thoughtful and productive interactions during the meeting.
A board of director’s portal also allows users to view discussions of previous meetings, past decisions, and meeting minutes. They can communicate in real time about the latest updates on pre-board meeting files and other information and collaborate remotely. This can reduce the need for in-person meetings, as well as help directors make better-informed decisions.
Functionality and Reliability
The functional aspects of a director’s board portal can also support sound decision making. For instance, the system allows board and committee members to electronically accept policies and procedures. It includes permissions, workflows and approvals that make it easy to keep track of documents and other important information. And the board portal has a built-in revision feature that makes sure information never gets lost.
Changes made to all documents within the portal are retained, so information won’t mysteriously vanish from the system. Plus, documents are version-controlled, which makes it easy to tell who accessed and changed files. So directors can make decisions for the organization with complete confidence in the information at their disposal.
Here are a few other ways a board of director’s portal can support better decision making:
- Automatic voting: A board of director’s portal with automated voting capabilities allows directors to vote on credits and other items between meetings. The system captures their ballot mechanically, so board members don’t have to manually record votes. This leaves them more time to spend on decision making and other critical functions.
- Online Evaluations: Online evaluations are a good way for directors to share their opinion about the board’s performance. They can also provide feedback on the organization’s projects, proposals and other issues. Their input can stimulate greater participation by the board and impact future decisions.
- Archiving: A historical archive is an important part of a board of director’s portal. It creates a permanent record of board materials, giving directors convenient access to the information they need to perform their duties. This, in turn, creates an environment that makes it easier for directors to make the best decisions for their organization.
In summary, good decision making clearly enhances the management and performance of a company. And when properly used, a board of director’s portal can support strategic decisions that can ensure long-term success for the organization.
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