January 4, 2016
Karen Peacey

Tales from the boardroom.

We like to think of the start of the year as an opportunity to start fresh — to take all our experiences, including mistakes, from the year before and learn from them.

We know what you’re thinking, What do you mean, mistakes? Well, we’re all human, right? Even if some of us (you) have super-human abilities. You know those moments when someone says, “One day, I’ll look back on this and laugh”? We asked some of our clients about their most embarrassing blunders, and these were the result. Read on, cringe, and make plans to avoid repeating their mistakes.

You’re Invited. No, you’re not. Wait, you are, but at 2:15….

Meeting invitations are small potatoes for most of us. Such an easy job, we blithely think, as we send out the call to our directors and associates. And yet somehow, things do find a way of going dramatically wrong. Directors can’t find the invitation, get the invitation but not the cancellation or the new invitation, or see nothing and so don’t show up at all. Posting events in a centralized, easily-accessible place can help.

Cc: Whoops.

One client confessed an email blunder that we all dread (and may even have made). During an exchange with a director, she explained the term “brain-fart,” only sent her response to 175 people on a department-level distribution list. While she received many encouraging replies (including one that said she’d “made their day”), she was mortified over the error. Her mantra now: check and double-check the recipients before hitting “send.”

You’ll be travelling… back in time.

Organizing travel for yourself can be a challenge, but what happens when you organize it for someone else… and give them the wrong itinerary? It happens. What about when their flight’s been gone for 12 hours? It’s happened to someone we know, who says there’s a reason re-booking exists.

That’s with an E…

Everyone makes spelling mistakes, but spelling a director’s name incorrectly on a meeting agenda can feel like one of the worst. The fix? If there’s time, have another pair of eyes look things over, or read it yourself, backwards, double-checking against a list you know is correct.

Technical difficulties are temporary, please stand by.

We’ve all been in the race against battery life, but never is it more stressful than when you’re taking meeting minutes and you know you left your cord on your desk. How do you get out of that one? Borrowed technology, usually. Including pens.

Embarrassing, right? But we’ve all been there. And when someone works as hard as you do to help boards (and all their moving parts) run smoothly, slip-ups are bound to happen once in a while. With that in mind, we’d like to offer you a New Year’s Toast of Appreciation: Here’s to you! Without your flair for communication and organizational chops, there’d be a lot of directors searching for email attachments or wondering why Wednseday’s meeting was moved to Monday (only to find out it wasn’t).

Curious? Find out more.

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