BoardOps: It Starts with Culture
It starts with culture. A robust BoardOps culture fosters 5 key elements:
- Continuous Improvement
Each of these elements is important. However, a BoardOps culture really flourishes when a company fosters all of them. Here’s why and how to foster each.
BoardOps Culture: Collaboration
Executives, directors, and investors often don’t agree on big (or small) issues. This disconnect is what prompted development of BoardOps! BoardOps enables the Board to work better together along with others who have a stake in board decisions.
How do these disparate groups work better together? BoardOps transcends traditional approaches to board meeting preparation and board meetings themselves. It helps these groups in the prioritization of decisions needed, improving meeting documentation, and incorporating investor views into decision-making.
BoardOps culture promotes collaboration within and beyond the boardroom by emphasizing diversity, environmental stewardship, and social responsibility in board deliberations and decision-making. Diverse boards bring diverse competencies and experiences to the board table and to board.
BoardOps Culture: Automation
BoardOps utilizes advanced technology to enhance board-related planning processes
A board’s primary product is decisions. BoardsOps looks at that decision-making process to identify bottlenecks that slow effective, quality decisions. Then, BoardOps professionals measure and identify these barriers and then leverage automation wherever possible to improve throughput.
A BoardOps culture relies on advanced technology to automate repetitive processes. Those include board planning processes, meeting documentation, and accessing relevant data. That data includes, for example, investor governance polices and voting records, company ownership, ESG issues, and peer comparisons. In addition, innovative analytics free up staff time for higher-level work and provide the board with better and more current information.
Because companies assume that these workflows are acceptable or cannot be improved, companies often fail to map them. In a BoardOps culture, corporate governance professionals, management and the board all utilize advanced technology to a much greater extent than in the past.
BoardOps Culture: Monitoring
BoardOps helps better manage key elements of board work — monitoring tasks, work in progress, and outcomes. Deliverables are identified and progressed – not lost in the shuffle or complexity that sometimes occurs around board meeting planning or meetings themselves.
Many companies spend inordinate amounts of time on board meeting preparation. A BoardOps culture can help management reduce prep time. Also, it can identify and provide the board with the most relevant information, and thereby, reduce information overload.
In addition, more efficient fulfillment of the board’s monitoring (i.e. risk mitigation) role allows more board attention to its advisory (value adding) role.
BoardOps Culture: Measurement
BoardOps uses analytics to measure board effectiveness — enabling both management and boards to increase effectiveness. Continuous measuring using analytics helps identify root causes of bottlenecks and barriers to quality decision-making. It empowers professionals to act quickly and proactively to prevent degradation of board workflow processes or diversion of resources from prioritized decisions.
Measurement starts early in the planning process; using analytics to plan appropriate emphasis on the most impactful agenda topics while meeting governance compliance requirements. The same analytics that inform the planning environment can also identify problems before they adversely impact board decision-making.
Analytics can make board, committee, and individual director self-assessments more fact-based and actionable. For example, a retrospective analysis of how the board chose to prioritize agenda topics (i.e., spend its time) in the past year can be revealing and guide planning for the following year. Analytics enable management and boards to assess how well they achieved board goals.
- Individual directors and the board as a collective to improve performance, planning and recruitment
- Management to improve workflows, information flows, and agenda topic prioritization
- Investors to better understand how the board and the company approaches important topics
- Others involved in board-related workflows (within and beyond the company) to collaborate on problems and improve board-related workflows
BoardOps Culture: Continuous Improvement
Continuous improvement is a critical element of BoardOps culture. Analytics is a valuable tool for continuous improvement.
BoardOps emphasizes the use of analytics to improve the board’s use of its time. Too often boards spend too much time on short-term Execution agenda topics (which tend to have short-term impact). Too often boards give short shrift to Strategy and Leadership agenda topics (which tend to have mid-and-long-term impact). BoardOps culture’s emphasis on analytics to promote continuous improvement can help boards better prioritize their most impactful Leadership and Strategy agenda topics.
Analytics also enable the board to meaningfully assess board composition to inform board succession planning and recruitment – both important Leadership agenda topics. Analytics can provide insights into director tenure, skills, diversity(in its many forms).
BoardOps. It Starts With Culture.
BoardOps culture emphasizes continually improving the quality and process of this decision-making. It ensures organizational agility does not stop at the boardroom door. Moreover, BoardOps allows everyone who touches board work and workflows to have the best overall experience and provide the best results to others involved in the process.
Foresight® by Corporate Governance Partners, Inc.
We believe better boards:
• Build more strategic companies
• Align more effectively with management on goalsValue better human capital management
• Employ more reliable financial controls and reporting
• Generate more profits
And advance a company’s commitment to:
• Ethical, compliant cultures
• Embrace inclusion and celebrate diversity, free from harassment
• Safe workplaces and products
• Consideration of environmental and social impacts in operational and strategic decisions
Therefore, we are working to transform how boards and corporate governance professionals work by building advanced technology to elevate the work of boards. Foresight’s integrated, innovative, information-centric features enable a more agile Board culture which
leads to better board decision-making.
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