For any board to be completely functional, every director must be willing to express all views, including those that may be unpopular.
Too often, directors will withhold comments, questions or, most especially, criticisms of other directors, or even the chairman of the board. They may do this because they feel intimidated by more senior or experienced people at the table, or because they are unsure of the reaction their question or comment may elicit.
The Aprio Boardroom uses a survey tool to encourage this exact type of dialogue, as this is the perfect method to help directors who do think they fully understand a situation, or are unable (or uncomfortable) to voice their opinions. The survey tool engages directors, extracts opinions and observations that may not be apparent to others at the table.
The survey tool literally gets the elephant – those nagging questions about one member not reading materials or about another director who never says anything – and gives the beast a seat at the table so everyone feels empowered to contribute to the discussion and the decision-making process.
This feedback on the performance of the board helps to build a dialogue that, instead of forcing a director to voice an unpopular view, helps the board perform better. The key indicator of whether or not a board works effectively is that everyone agrees that all issues were raised and discussed, and they can live with the final proposal; that is, after every effort has been made to meet any outstanding interests.
In order to provide the greatest value to the corporation, the board has to function well. The survey is a means for finding those areas where the board can improve.
Recording the survey ensures that a true record captures the key points of agreement and disagreement during a dialogue. It is vital to have an on-going representation of what the group has discussed and on what they agreed. The Aprio Boardroom helps administrators build summaries for review in draft by all participants to ensure that everyone agrees with the review and discussion of what happened.
Board administrators appreciate that the Aprio Boardroom Survey Feature is a consensus-building tool. It facilitates the process and delivers the directors to their most actionable point faster and with more resolve.
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