Turning to Technology to Enhance Boardroom Governance
Martyn Chapman, Head of Strategy, Nasdaq Governance Solutions
Global businesses and markets are caught in a seemingly perpetual cycle of disruption and adjustment, and company leadership and board directors are met with finding new and innovative ways of communicating and working with shareholders.
As disruption in the workplace has company leaders and directors working to find new ways of communicating with shareholders, governance professionals have increasingly moved away from printed documents in favor of a digital-first boardroom. The adoption of governance-specific technology can help directors become more productive by sharing knowledge and information, streamline board book creation and, importantly, strengthen information security.
In an environment where directors are charged with elevating a company’s performance and steering their organizations through an ever evolving governance landscape, it is essential that the board meeting process be simple and easy to navigate. This requires the right tools to be implemented at the board level.
For those considering a shift in their corporate governance practices, we have observed several digital governance trends since this type of technology was introduced into the boardroom:
Efficiency and Collaboration
A focus on board governance can assist the efficiency of a board by streamlining administrative functions and improving information accuracy and transparency. After all, good governance requires that board members have the most up-to-date information and feel empowered to communicate freely, using their unique perspectives and experiences to drive the company forward.
Directors and corporate secretaries can regain valuable time by deploying board portal technologies that assist with scheduling meetings, creating agendas and board-books, and uploading documents seamlessly.
In addition, the use of governance technology can encourage greater collaboration between board members and senior leadership. This can be critical to building trust within the boardroom and create stronger relationships between directors and the executive team.
Regulations impacting the broader European corporate landscape, including the likes of MiFID II, have led to an increase in annual board evaluations. Assessing your board’s performance can result in significant improvements and help to increase the alignment between the board and your company’s leadership.
Using governance technology can assist with board accountability. This allows your executive team to conduct recurring evaluations of your directors, particularly to determine if your board members have the specific expertise to support the company on its growth plans.
The information within board documents and director communications is highly confidential. Using traditional channels, such as email and chat-based messaging, may present several risks. In addition, paper documents can get misplaced, which could lead to sensitive or proprietary information getting into the wrong hands. Boards should go through a thorough assessment process for all technology they implement and use to share this sensitive information.
To summarize, with disruption impacting every industry, organizations need to become more strategic, nimbler and adaptable to the fast pace of change. Board directors can take the lead within their respective organizations and begin to adopt the use of governance technology like a board portal or collaboration platform to facilitate this boardroom transforma