• By: Adam Wire
  • March 16, 2022
Reading Time: 5 minutes
The Board's Future is Digital, Agile, and Diverse

Event Recap: OnBoard and the Australian Institute of Company Directors took part in the Australia Governance Summit. Here’s what leading board directors at the event had to say.

OnBoard is partnering with the Australian Institute of Company Directors in 2022 to provide their members with all the resources they need to future-proof their boards. OnBoard also sponsored of the AICD’s industry event, Australia Governance Summit 

At this event, some of Australia’s leading board directors shared their insights:  

  • While they may have put in a preliminary solution in place during the pandemic to help with hybrid meetings and in managing those packs, long-term it will need to change as it’s not allowing them to be agile.  
  • Many were still relying on various programs (i.e., content management, collaboration and project management systems) put together to at least make do. They are now looking to formalise what their board processes look like and the technology to support it.  
  • They want to be able to consume and act on board materials on the fly. They aren’t always in front of their laptops, so being able to do what they need to do via a mobile device would be a game-changer. 
  • There is currently no tangible way to measure true diversity of their boards and what they are missing.  

The conversations highlighted a real need to be agile and to have the right technology in place for a more effective, diverse, and future-focused board. 

Here’s some guidance to get you on your way.  

 

“An agile board enables the organization to identify and respond effectively to changes in the internal and external environment. It is characterized by a forward-looking and exploratory approach that makes companies quicker, more adaptable, and more innovative.”

– The World Economic Forum in “Here’s How to Bring Agility Into the Boardroom.”

Firstly, Let’s Talk Agility

There’s no denying we’ve experienced a number of unpredictable events over the last few years. For boards to navigate through this as well as a complex business and risk environment, the key to their success will be to build their agility.  

What does an agile board look like? The World Economic Forum puts it nicely in their article ‘Here’s how to bring agility into the boardroom’ 

“An Agile Board enables the organization to identify and respond effectively to changes in the internal and external environment. It is characterized by a forward-looking and exploratory approach that makes companies quicker, more adaptable and more innovative.” 

 There are several reasons why an organisation’s board may not fit this description. Often they may be comprised of people of similar backgrounds, using prescriptive agendas, that have been unchanged for quite some time. How would this type of structure facilitate fresh perspectives? Or innovative thinking? 

Another contributing factor could be not having the right technology in place to allow you to be agile:  

  • Are you able to access board materials from anywhere via any device? 
  • Are you able to annotate, sign, collaborate, and anything else you need all within the one system? 
  • Do you have the right information at your fingertips to act proactively and to make changes when it comes to board engagement, diversity, and overall board effectiveness? 

How Digital Technologies Can Make Your Life Easier

The one good thing coming out of the pandemic has been the accelerated adoption of digital technologies and virtual meetings, leading to all-new board efficiencies.  

These digital technologies, however, need to work the way you do, addressing real-world needs and reducing complexity so your board and leadership teams can work smarter, move faster, and achieve more for the organizations they govern. 

What’s more, you need to be confident that right people see the right information. Unparalleled security and data protection features like permission management and compliance flexibility give you confidence and control over your organization’s most sensitive data. 

How it Can Help Drive Overall Effectiveness and Diversity

Board assessments set the foundation for your board’s future and helps your team develop priorities that strengthen the organization’s governance performance and practices. Whether that comes in the form of an annual board assessment, a committee assessment, or CEO evaluation, it’s a powerful way to continuously improve board performance with actionable results. 

Being able to do this digitally make the process faster and easier from start to finish. Once the results are in, insightful data visualizations enable focused analysis for smarter, more informed decision-making for your board’s future. 

Diversity and Inclusion are important trending topics for boards – and rightly so. Diverse board composition not only reflects shared social values, but also makes a significant, measurable contribution to the effectiveness of boards across all sectors and industries. 

Skills Tracking gives you insights into competencies for better visibility into current board composition. Quickly identify your board’s experience in specific areas and highlight gaps, then take action or build a recruiting plan that fits your organization’s strategic direction.  

See how you can transform your board for the future.  

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