The Business of Board and Committee Meetings
Governance The Business of Board and Committee Meetings
Published: May 29, 2014
Read Time: 3 minutes
What is the business of Board and Committee Meetings?
Around the world there are countless books, articles, journals and papers written about Management, Management Theory, Governance, the functions of Boards, and so on. The world is much taken up with trying to guide those tasked with making decisions, shadowed by an increasingly complex body of regulation and obligation falling to those holding Board and or Committee positions.
Individuals with differing backgrounds, experiences and values come together to evaluate information, form a collective view and make decisions, about matters that often have competing interests; being on a Board or Committee can sometimes seem complex and onerous
The business of conducting a Board or Committee meeting is, however, quite a simple affair. A number of people get together, either physically or virtually, gathered around an Agenda detailing matters requiring noting, or a decision. Agenda items are accompanied by background information. This informs a discussion involving individual and collective consideration and evaluation, informing a vote which leads to a decision. If a decision isn’t required, then the Board will note the information presumably for future use.
No matter how many new text books are written, and no matter how technical the academics might make it, the simple fact is every Board or Committee meeting is in the business of setting an agenda, distributing background information, discussing and evaluating matters, and either noting information for future use, or for making a decision requiring a vote.
For many Executive Officers or Secretaries to Boards, preparing the mechanics of meetings takes place in an old fashioned manner involving photocopying, collating, binding and posting or couriering. Records are held in burgeoning physical folders or archives, and references to past decisions are difficult to find.
If making decisions on Boards can be complicated, the process of organising and supporting the meeting need not be. Executive Assistants spend many hours photocopying forests of paper, then there’s the mind-numbing job of compiling and binding papers followed by the costly business of sending papers out, usually by courier.
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