Secure Meeting Workflow: Streamlining the Board Meeting Process

Nicholas J Price
6 min read
Corporate board agendas are jam-packed with important issues. Prioritizing issues and streamlining meetings is of the essence in accomplishing the most important board work. It takes a lot of pre-planning to address all the vital issues that board directors need to address. Workflow processes on the front end need to move quickly and securely. All board meeting participants need lots of information and data as early as possible in the process. A slowdown in the pre-meeting process easily translates into breakdown and inefficiency in the meeting process.

How long has it been since your board took a good look at your pre-meeting, meeting and post-meeting workflows? Are your data and communications secure as you move through these processes? How sure are you that you're not facing unnecessary risks? Are board members complaining that they need more time to review materials before board meetings? Are you dealing with any especially sensitive issues right now?

Reviewing your workflows may call to attention which digital tools your board and management teams are using. Are there any risks of one program or application infecting another with malware or a virus? With the media reporting so many accounts of data breaches, it's time to acknowledge that technology can be our enemy as much as it can be our friend.

The surest way to improve the flow of information from your organization into your boardroom and to maintain confidence that your board work is confidential is to use Diligent Secure Meeting Workflow. With the faith in knowing that every email communication and every document and file are protected, your board can freely address every item on the agenda with the proper priority and give it the time that it demands.

Multiple Major Corporate Issues Are Being Addressed During Board Meetings

It takes merely a quick look at the business news to learn how many issues with which corporate boards must contend. The following issues top the list:

  • CEO pay ratios
  • Shareholder activism
  • Risk management
  • Cybercrime
  • Board composition and diversity
  • Conflict of interest
  • Transparency and accountability
  • Strategy and oversight
  • Compliance and regulatory matters

Who knows what additional issues tomorrow's headlines will bring? Boards need a strong board chair and the use of all the tools they have at their disposal to work at top efficiency.

Taking Precautions When Streamlining Board Processes

In the haste to streamline board meetings and to get to all the crucial items on the board's agenda, it can be easy to overlook important issues like security. By failing to ensure that all board communications are secure, boards risk unintentionally creating new problems, which only stands to compound the existing issues.

If a data breach should occur, the board will need to direct its full attention to the crisis. That means that all the other issues they should be dealing with get put on the back burner. There's no telling when the crisis will die down enough for them to get back to the regular business.

Barring any crises, are your board members getting reports and other board materials in time to read them, evaluate them and ask any clarifying questions before the meeting? Diligent Messenger gets those questions to the intended recipient securely because they never leave the secure platform.

Board management software improves your workflow because it allows you to update the board agenda and to make last-minute changes to materials in real time. There's no concern over missing papers or reports and no worries about documents slipping out of a board book binder and getting into the wrong hands. That situation could be worse if you'd handwritten confidential notes on any of the papers. Board management software lets you transfer files and documents ' large or small, with or without your markups on them ' and keep them protected along the way.

Dangers of Not Having a Secure Workflow Process in Place

When was the last time that your board took a critical look at your current board and management workflows? Are you still using large binders with numerous pages in them? Are you still using your personal email account to discuss issues with other board directors? What program do you use to send or receive files? Google Drive or Box? If so, you may be putting your files at an unnecessary risk.

If your board isn't using Diligent board management software, your files could be confiscated while in storage or while being transferred. Your emails could be hacked and made public before you wake up in the morning. In essence, your board work becomes a sitting duck for cybercrime.

Boards that don't use secure board management software run a host of risks. In addition to having to put important board business on hold to deal with a crisis, a data breach means that you could have lost personally identifiable information. That, by itself, will set off a chain reaction of other risks. You could lose the confidence of your shareholders. You may be in violation of laws such as GDPR. Your company may have to incur the cost of deploying a forensic cyber team to secure your system and identify the damage. One opening for cybercrime can cause your company to lose its competitive edge and the reputation and branding that you worked so hard to build.

What Advantage Is There for the Board in Using Secure Meeting Workflow Software?

The greatest advantage of using board management software is that it takes the worry out of communicating and collaborating. With the worry behind them, boards can set to work and focus on board business fully, and without distractions. With the right tools, analytics and insights, you can better adapt your organizational processes to better address the constantly changing modern governance landscape in order to keep your organization as agile and competitive as possible.

If a board director loses or misplaces a cell phone, tablet or laptop at the airport, the remote-wiping feature wipes it clean, and the cybercriminal nets a big fat nothing. By utilizing a board management system, board directors are less on edge and can let their creativity and imaginations flow.

A board management system helps to control the lines of communication. Boards need to work closely with managers without micromanaging them. When the lines of communication break down, board members are often left out of the loop. Boards can use settings to authorize certain workgroups so that they can get involved in the processes earlier and offer guidance and suggestions as soon as managers need them. Early intervention may mean that boards can work with managers on problems before they get out of control.

The risks of not using secure board management software are palpable. In today's marketplace, it takes just one wrong click for risks to blossom overnight. Diligent Secure Meeting Workflow and Governance Cloud are the top industry solutions for secure file-sharing and streamlining board processes to position your company for success now and in the future.