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Why A More Connected Board Is Essential For Long-Term Success

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We live in a world where quarterly success often takes priority over long-term vision, and this can have a seriously detrimental impact to organizations of all sizes.

For this reason, many industry leaders are looking for ways to build resilient plans that will ensure that short-term growth doesn’t jeopardize sustainability down the road. An empowered board with a clear plan for the future is a vital part of any strategic vision.

But studies show that in order for this to happen, executives need to cultivate a strong sense of teamwork and a shared sense of direction and goals, and this will not be possible if a board doesn’t have a good communications strategy and the right tools. Board managers who want to ensure their team can engage in the kind of strategic thinking necessary for the implementation of plans for long-term growth need to overcome several obstacles.

Because working remotely is becoming more of a rule than an exception (especially among directors), building board cohesion and team spirit is difficult. Providing board members with the kind of face time that facilitates trust and informal brainstorming may not be logistically feasible, so boards need to find other ways to connect meaningfully without being in the same room as each other.

Fortunately, tools have been developed to help board members overcome these challenges. Board portal software is one of the most popular.

Portal software solves the problem of how board members can access, share, and discuss board documents and data remotely. Portals are designed to be completely secure, and because they are protected by powerful encryption software, directors can discuss sensitive board issues without needing to worry about corporate espionage or third party hacking.

Board managers who learn about the latest board portal solutions are often pleasantly surprised by how comprehensive board portal packages are. The latest software offers board members access to a range of different tools via tablet or desktop, from a digital library for any important board-related documents, to sophisticated agenda and planning tools that allow directors to track their projects and stay on top of deliverables. Software from providers like Aprio even allows directors to collaborate and discuss board business within the portal itself, meaning that all board-related information, data, and communications are stored within a single app.

Because directors can access the app on their tablet from anywhere in the world (even offline), they can work on board business while travelling — without needing to carry sensitive physical copies of documents. Given that most directors in the modern business world are involved in many different organizations where they play a variety of different roles, this makes it much easier for directors to stay on top of their commitments to the board.

Leadership coaches who have extensive experience working with boards and helping them to optimize performance often stress that the most productive and far-sighted boards are also the ones that have the highest levels of cohesion. A board where directors talk to each other and compare notes between meetings is a board that is more likely to think beyond the next quarterly report. Because board portal software empowers directors to collaborate remotely, it is an essential tool for any board that wants to improve its ability to respond to the challenges of the present and the future.

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Milos Radakovic