Even if you’ve never written a board report before, it’s easy enough to learn how to do it. If you need some assistance in writing a report, ask for a copy of a report that was submitted in the past and use it as a template. You don’t have to write the report alone. Ask the committee members for help or ask for a mentor that has written a report in the past to help you with it. Here’s what you need to know to write a professional report to the board.
There is typically some degree of confusion surrounding the definition and role of an ex-officio board member among board directors, executive directors, CEOs, and managers of corporations and not-for-profits. The term, ex-officio, is a Latin phrase that literally translates “from the office.” Robert’s Rules explains the connection between the term and the meaning. It relates to the notion that the position refers the position the ex-officio holds, rather than the individual that holds the position.
The Latin meaning of the word quorum is derived from a word that means who. Commercial and not-for-profit entities enjoy a multitude of benefits when they form a board of directors. The main reason for organisations to form a board is to pool the talents of individual directors to make the best overall decisions about the current and future direction of the organisation. That means that the demographic that constitutes the “who” of the decision-makers holds great significance for every organisation. In not following quorum protocol, a few members may become too powerful, creating the risk that decisions may not benefit the good of the whole.
It’s a rare meeting where the board of directors has enough time to accomplish everything that it needs to. Having an established and focused board meeting agenda helps the board maximise accuracy, efficiency and productivity. Board meeting agendas include items for managing routine business and for tackling special projects.
While boards and management hold close ties to one another, their duties and responsibilities are distinctly different. Look to the definitions between a board and governance for the first clue as to the differences between them.
A board is an organised group of people with the collective authority to control and foster an institution that is usually administered by a qualified executive and staff.
Governance is the act, process or power of governing.
Comparing different board portal vendors to ultimately make a selection is serious business. After all, the chosen board management software needs to support the always high-stakes, often confidential and sometimes controversial work of your organisation’s governing body…usually for many years to come. A thoughtful, rigorous board portal comparison is key to ensuring the selection of a board portal vendor and product that stand the test of time. Thankfully, a number of valuable resources, like this one from Great Boards, the Board Portal Buyer’s Guide or this one from Gartner, have been developed over the years to assist in that process. Even these, though, become dated or can be prohibitively costly to access, leaving organisations to manage these board portal comparisons largely on their own.
Working with the boards of more than 2,000 organisations, BoardEffect frequently participates in such evaluations and implementations; and we provide a range of resources in an effort to demystify the process. We also field a lot of information requests from organisations engaged in these initiatives. Many of these questions facilitate sound, informed decision-making. But a number of them are not as helpful. Some may even diminish the effectiveness of evaluations by camouflaging the most material issues or oversimplifying complex, far-reaching topics. Below are five of our least favourite questions about board portal technology, along with tips for how to replace them with more incisive questions that lead to deeply informed decisions.
Taking good meeting minutes at a board meeting is an important and fulfilling role. Board meeting minutes are more than a general account of board discussions; they serve as an official and legal record of the meeting of the board of directors. Minutes are used in a variety of ways including tracking progress, detailing future plans and serving as a reference point. Among other things, your meeting minutes should reflect a record of motions, votes, and abstentions.