Super-sized me. You need to shed the weight

By Mark Edge on 05. September 2018

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You’re walking down a corridor to a board meeting and catch your reflection in a window. You turn and think, ‘Look at the size of it.’ That enormous bulge you’re carrying around your middle. You’re red in the face, panting and sweating. Your knees are buckling under the extra weight you’re carrying. There and then, you decide you’ve had enough of the whispers and giggles in the canteen. It’s time to take action. You need to put your board papers on a diet.

From experience, the majority of board papers these days are between 100 and 200 pages, with a small, but sizeable percentage containing 201 and 300 pages. It’s an unfeasibly large number of pages that need to be printed multiple times, so each board member can receive a copy.

Never mind the blood, sweat and tears in collating, printing and distributing these behemoths, pity the poor board member who has to plough through all this information prior to and during the meeting. It’s a mammoth undertaking for the company secretary, but the sheer bulk of the board papers are simply just not conducive to productive and effective meetings. Pouring over reams of information, that may have been received late or edited at the last minute, inevitably has a disruptive effect on boardroom flow, dynamics, and of course, decision making.

Many boards still manually produce and distribute board packs. This means there are thousands of stressed company secretaries up and down the country spending most of their time worrying about or preparing board packs. While tens of thousands of board members are frustrated in their efforts to find salient points hidden within their vast board papers.

And then there’s the cost. For some companies that translates as nearly £40,000 a year creating and distributing board packs. That’s a lot of excess fat to be carrying on the top line that could be better spent elsewhere.

So it’s clear that all the evidence points to the fact that board papers need to go on a diet. But it doesn’t need to be onerous because those extra pounds of weight and financial fat can be easily shaved off by cutting out paper and embracing digital technology in the boardroom.

Board portals enable huge cost, time and resource savings by streamlining best practice. Board packs can be created automatically, changes can be made up to last minute, are automatically updated and distributed efficiently. For board members, all current information is easily accessible, readily available while reading and making comments on the board papers is far simpler.

Dieting can be challenging with all the various choices available, waning willpower, slow and barely noticeable results. All too often, we can fall off the wagon. But when it comes to the dieting in the boardroom, with a small investment in a digital technology, you’ll see instant results and be the envy of many with your slimline, fit for purpose board papers and grateful board members able to better exercise their time.

Download our eBook highlighting best practices for effective board papers.

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