The conventional approach to evaluating your board of directors relies on hiring external consultants that, whilst most often effective, drain your hourglass, your mental well-being and your wallet. Hard-copy documents are lost in translation. There is the constant back-and-forth emailing to line up schedules and interviews. Endless hours of administrative work and thousands of dollars are being spent on a long, complex operation that could be so much more streamlined. With today’s technology, digitalising the board evaluation process is essential for sustainable development in your company.
There are, of course, several other benefits of adopting a digital way of working.
A LOWER COST, IN BOTH TIME AND MONEY
This is the most obvious benefit of a digital board evaluation when compared to through a consultancy. I will disregard the final outcome of each process and instead focus on the very steps of the operation that leads up to delivery (in the form of a report/presentation).
When it comes to costs, the digital option will always prevail over the consultative one. Naturally, digital solutions are subject to scalability and more competition – both of which decrease prices drastically.
A consultancy will initiate an extensive, usually months-long evaluation that includes phone calls, meetings, interviews and presentations, and everything in between. A lot of the time spent is just coordinating schedules and meetings between everyone involved. And, seeing as time equals money, it ends up being rather expensive on that front.
The nature of a digital process eliminates these redundant elements, giving you increased control over when and where you spend your time. A solution like this would require a one-off calibration effort to get up and running, but then allow you to simply log in and conduct your evaluation with two clicks of a button.
A MORE VERSATILE WAY OF WORKING
Digital technology has transformed the nature of work as we know it. Increased connectivity and a surplus of digital options result in many people now having far more opportunities for working together from separate locations. As working remotely becomes more and more common, we are proving that a large part of board work can be done hundreds – if not thousands – of miles away without difficulty.
By removing the need for board members to be physically present to conduct an evaluation, we effectively enable countless of other flexible working practices. A board evaluation, for example, becomes less tedious when schedules and physical presence aren’t part of the picture.
IMPROVED INFORMATION STORAGE, SECURITY AND ACCESSIBILITY
Modern technology allows us to store massive amounts of information and data in relatively small spaces such as smartphones. Today, we can gather pretty much every photo, song or document we possess on one single, handheld device. We can also use those devices to access and manage information that was previously limited to more powerful contraptions, such as computers.
Cloud computing takes it one step further. Through it, we can store and access data from anywhere in the world – and with almost no restrictions in terms of storage capacity. The Cloud Service Provider (CSP) will most often also perform regular firewall checkups and intrusion identification in order to protect your data. Naturally, as board work revolves around incredibly sensitive information, it’s important to opt for a CSP that specialises in cybersecurity.
Digitalising your board evaluation means improving these critical aspects of the entire process. You store all surveys, reports and other documentation in one secure location – reducing human error and the risk of hard-copy misplacement. Increased accessibility to these items amplifies engagement of participants and simplifies collaboration, as the task of evaluating becomes easier to deal with.
DATA EQUALS ACCURATE INSIGHTS
Consultancies offer evaluations comprised of thorough investigations into each and every board member, giving you a comprehensive overview of the dynamics in your board. However, what they cannot offer is incorporating data-driven facts into their calculations.
Going digital enables us to track metrics and analyse data that the human brain simply cannot. It opens the door for opportunities to collect additional insights by e.g. being able to put results into context, identify trends and measure improvements over time – all of which make up for a more accurate and all-encompassing outcome. Data also provides benchmarks that can be used to add a qualitative perspective to your analysis.
These benefits become even more clear when combined with consistency. Conducting data-driven board evaluations on a regular basis solidifies the insights you receive as trends and improvements become more accurate the more data they consider.
11 January 2024
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