Board meetings are a long, bureaucratic process, filled with reports, stats, minutes, and just so much paper. If the average person wants to see what’s going on in a particular board meeting, there’s no way to know until some kind of announcement is released. But these are problems that many companies around the world are working to fix, using the wealth of technological advancements available to us. Here’s a few of the broad movements in the world of committee technologies.
Recording, Streaming, or Televising
A number of boards already record audio of their meetings, but typically keep them to themselves for record-keeping and internal accountability purposes. Often, members of the public can request access to these, though they are only kept for a short period of time (usually a month or so). There are also some committees who publish their audio recordings on their websites, but you’d be hard pressed to find any advertisements of this fact.
There are, however, a number of boards out there, usually in the medium-sized business or public service range, who will invest in cameras and either stream or broadcast their meetings live, or publish the videos to hosting sites. This is an expensive endeavour to do professionally, as evidenced in this report from the San Mateo County Community College District Board, where it was estimated to cost the college almost $200,000USD. However, setting up smaller company with only what it needs to livestream is much, much cheaper.
So what are the advantages to utilising these technologies? The most obvious is public awareness of what your company is doing. This leads to accountability and transparency - as well as potentially giving you some advertising - all of which can be very big things for smaller committees.
Digital and Social Engagement
This might seem like a strange subject for a Board of Directors to be thinking about - after all, you should be spending your energy guiding this company - but it’s becoming more and more necessary in today’s age. The biggest advantage of it is transparency: letting the public see who you are and what you’re doing. This can be as simple as having some short video bios on your company’s website stating who you are and what you’re bringing to the board. It builds a rapport with your community, and lets them know that the organisation they are passionate about is willing to be open and listen to them. If your company has the resources, having a volunteer to run a social media page such as Facebook or Instagram can be a big stepping stone for even the smallest committee.
Now, if you’re reading our blog on our website, you probably understand that this is what we do. That just means that we’re big believers in what software like Process PA can do to assist committees. Moving into the digital age means software like ours is more important than ever for those looking to streamline the governance process. Tracking minutes, agendas, schedules, registers, all without paper and with eternal cloud storage means a lower carbon footprint and a simpler, more streamlined meeting procedure.