I recently attended a Board meeting where a thick package of data was reviewed with the members. It soon became obvious that many had not read the material prior to the meeting. After looking at it I could see why. Much of it was background material with different schedules to support the main report. When asked why the ED explained that over the years certain members wanted more and more information on certain items which in turn over time caused the board package to double in size. In some cases the member who wanted a particular item was no longer on the Board.
This is not unusual but highlights the need to periodically review your board package to see if the material is relevant and important for monthly review. I have found that concise reports and summaries will capture the board’s attention and too much information will cause their eyes to glaze over. In my experience Board members will welcome some reductions particularly if they are made aware of the time and cost necessary to put all the information together. If certain members still want to review back up data you can always make it available for their review after the meeting or provide them on a quarterly basis.
Is the Board receiving enough pertinent information? Your review should also ensure that enough key data is included to keep your Board current on important subjects.
Streamlining the board reporting process will give you more time to spend on the most critical subjects.
Author: Dave Blankenhorn, Executive Coaches of Orange County, www.ECofOC.org