Board Directors Finally Reveal What’s on Their Minds (and What’s Not)

  • By: OnBoard Meetings
ICBA Blog 1 Master
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ICBA Master SmallThis blog post is the first in a three-part series. See part 2 here (part 3 coming soon). 

Key Takeaways

  • Board members feel they are under heightened scrutiny.
  • Information accuracy and reliability are the most challenging issues directors face.
  • Directors eagerly want to use technology to make their meetings more effective.

With increasing responsibilities for oversight and governance, it has become clear that boards of directors play a critical leadership role in today’s business world.

In a recent survey conducted by research firm Avannis and the Independent Community Bankers of America, we asked Board Directors, Executives, and Administrators to assess their board meeting experience. We wanted to know how technology was influencing their boards, how they use board software, and where they see technology shaping the future of their work. 

The results showed board members feel they are under heightened scrutiny. What’s more, information accuracy was the most common challenge the group said they faced, with information reliability coming in a close second. What wasn’t atop their list is equally striking: information overload ranked dead last in the survey of concern.

[bctt tweet=”What issues do Board Directors find most challenging? You may be surprised by the answer. Read here: ” prompt=”Tweet This”]

Issues Directors Find Most Challenging Issues Directors Find Least Challenging
1. Information accuracy 1. Information overload
2. Information reliability 2. Board engagement
3. More strategic meetings vs. operational 3. Communication outside the Board


The picture is clear: it is not the quantity of information directors find challenging, but rather the quality. They want more accurate and reliable information of all kinds.

Indeed, many of the remedies directors suggested to improve the overall board experience spoke not to quantitative needs, but qualitative. According to the Avannis survey, 78% of respondents said incorporating technology into the boardroom was important and 51% indicated that their board was excited about trying new board technology solutions. The conclusion is undeniable: Directors want to use technology to make their meetings more effective, to give them additional context around deliberations, and to aid in their decision-making process. Not to simply add more technology for technology’s sake – but instead as a remedy. They want technology to help acquire better information, better improve their workflows, and to aid during their deliberations.

[bctt tweet=”Stop assuming Boards of Directors are tech-averse. New survey: 51% say their board is EXCITED about new technology. Full details here: ” prompt=”Tweet This”]

Among the top suggestions on what would improve the board meeting experience:

  • Streamlined document review
  • Earlier availability of documents
  • Remote attendance/video conferencing
  • Less paper/more digital
  • More focused/timely meetings
  • Better preparation by board members
  • More focus on strategy
  • Better or more communication and interaction
  • Input from outside specialists
  • More/ongoing training

The survey touched on more than just top concerns. In part 2we’ll explore what directors see as the underlying problem with their board meetings (and what it isn’t).

What To Do Next

About The Author

OnBoard Meetings
OnBoard Meetings
At OnBoard, we believe board meetings should be informed, effective, and uncomplicated. That’s why we give boards and leadership teams an elegant solution that simplifies governance. With customers in higher education, nonprofit, health care systems, government, and corporate enterprise business, OnBoard is the leading board management provider.