News

  • 30 Apr 2017 10:15 PM | Shayne Morris (Administrator)

    See how your association's performance compares to global trends

    What’s the ONE STRATEGY that helped organisations increase renewals, event attendance, web traffic and revenue growth? Read the report to find out.

    ASI’s 3rd annual survey of membership organisations provides important benchmarks on new member acquisition strategies, engagement plans and measurement, technology investments, website updates, and overall performance improvement.

    Be sure to get your copy of the 2017 report to see how your organisation compares with your peers in the association community. We share important insights on:

    • Winning Strategies: What’s working well for some organisations?
    • Retention: Will a new 2017 trend impact you for years?
    • Top Priorities: What’s vital and is any progress being made?
    • Mitigating Risk: How do you make the right technology decision?

    Get Your Copy of the Report by clicking here.

  • 30 Apr 2017 10:09 PM | Shayne Morris (Administrator)

    Danish Professor Tim Jensen eulogises about Dunedin and why the city is the chosen host for a major international congress for religion scholars

    Some 600 of the world’s leading scholars in the scientific study of religion are set to converge on Dunedin in September 2020. It’s a little-known - perhaps surprising - fact that the popular student town is host to several religion scholars ranking amongst the top of their field; a leading reason why it was chosen unanimously to host the 22nd Congress of the International Association for the History of Religions (IAHR).

    The IAHR currently comprises some 50 national and regional member associations and is the preeminent international forum for the critical, analytical and cross-cultural study of religion, past and present. Its 2020 congress will be held at the University of Otago, New Zealand’s oldest university and the first in the Asia Pacific region to have a formal programme in the study of religion. It will also coincide with the New Zealand Association for the Study of Religion's 50th anniversary.

    Tim Jensen, Associate Professor of The Study of Religions at the University of Southern Denmark, and President of the IAHR, says: “The bid simply was convincing as regards the quality of the hosting national association, of the local scholars who were to constitute the local organising committee, the support of the university, of the city of Dunedin and Tourism New Zealand.

    “Dunedin may be a fairly small city, but it has all the facilities needed for our world congress in terms of the university venue, transportation, hotels, restaurants and coffee shops. Moreover, in and around Dunedin the visitor has plentiful marvellous nature close at hand. The scenery at the Peninsula is stunning, and I can recommend a train trip along the coast as well as into the mountains. I know of some surfers amongst the scholars of the IAHR: they will be hard to drag away from the wonderful surf of Dunedin.”

    Jensen admits he was converted by New Zealand’s legendary hospitality, while his initial impressions of its scenery are nothing short of rapturous: “Kiwis are extraordinarily friendly, extraordinarily kind to visitors. Something I thought was mostly exaggerations - until I visited myself.

    “And then, on top of this you have the simply incredible, fabulous, fairy-tale like landscape. Visitors from time to time have to ask themselves if they are wide awake or dreaming, standing in a real landscape, or in a virtual reality fairy-tale; there’s such incredible diversity, incredible power of colours.”

    Jensen also notes New Zealand’s reputation for tolerance sets it apart as a conference destination. In a world where international associations - which exist predominantly as vehicles for knowledge-sharing, research and best practice - are finding it more difficult to obtain business events visas for international delegations than previous years, New Zealand’s welcoming attitude towards visa policy, scientific study and divergent viewpoints are definite plus points. “New Zealand must be said to have a relatively good record as a place of religious toleration and diversity,” Jensen adds. “Kiwis are, I think not without some good reason, proud to think of themselves as progressive. That also matters.

    “Contrary to what some people might think, this kind of academic, non-confessional scientific study of religion is still in need of strong support. Folk or common notions of religion and outright lack of knowledge of specific religions, not to speak of stereotypes and prejudices, dominate, and I think they do so with not so good consequences for states, societies, and individuals and their ability to handle religious and cultural diversity.”

    For his part, local champion of the bid Will Sweetman, Associate Professor at the University of Otago’s Religion Programme, agrees the congress is a ‘wonderful opportunity’ to bring outstanding scholars of religion from all over the world to New Zealand, as well as to showcase the work of staff and students in Religious Studies programmes in New Zealand. “We hope it will also create a lasting legacy for the New Zealand Association for the Study of Religions."

    Additionally, the IAHR will also deliver more worldly benefits to the city of Dunedin. The five-day conference will translate to up to 3,000 room nights in the off-peak season, with its visitors injecting an estimated $1 million into the local economy.

    The conference win is another successful collaboration between the University of Otago, Enterprise Dunedin, and Tourism New Zealand, which work together to attract business events for both the tangible tourism dollars and the international prestige they bring.

    Enterprise Dunedin's Business Events Tourism Advisor Bree Jones says: “Promoting Dunedin and New Zealand as a knowledge centre continues to pay dividends, as it gives us a unique proposition globally. These conferences deliver vital economic benefits to our city and surrounding regions as they bring high-yield delegates during our off-peak season."

    Sweetman notes the bid was dependent on the support of both Enterprise Dunedin, and Tourism New Zealand’s Conference Assistance Programme, which offers strategic funding and marketing assistance for bids for events with more than 200 international delegates. "We would not have won this bid without it. The staff were fantastic, and helped us to produce a professional and convincing bid document.”

    Lisa Gardiner, International Business Events and Premium Manager, Tourism New Zealand adds: "This is a fantastic result for Dunedin and wider New Zealand. Visitors to events like this often spend additional time in the area and travelling further afield and this benefits all New Zealanders. Hosting events gives us the opportunity to showcase our world-class offering and that encourages more and more international groups to consider New Zealand as an events destination. Tourism New Zealand works with a number of agencies and offers a range of support to assist them to bring conferences like this to New Zealand."

    Jensen admits the biggest challenges that organisations like the IAHR face in choosing New Zealand as a conference destination relate to the costs, and the long journey for some participants, of travelling to New Zealand, and says funding and support are of the utmost importance to conference organisers.

    “I was grateful for the financial support offered to reimburse the major part of my costs related to my site visit. I was equally grateful for the help and assistance offered by the local host and for the kindness shown by the local Dunedin tourism agency. I cannot wait to work with them further to deliver the 2020 Congress.”

    If you would like to find out more about Tourism New Zealand, please visit www.businessevents.newzealand.com

  • 30 Apr 2017 10:01 PM | Shayne Morris (Administrator)

    An association can be defined as a group of people with the knowledge, enthusiasm and resources meeting together for a common purpose. They are usually organised through a Board or Committee which is elected by members and lead by a President or Chair of the association. These people are usually all volunteers, however there may be some form of remuneration for key positions if agreed upon.

    There are usually two kinds of associations with the unincorporated Association not having a set of rules and the incorporated Association following a constitution or set of rules that outlines strict processes for activities such as the appointments of key positions and what those positions do. The constitution also outlines the rules of conduct for the Association with one of those being that if the association were to finish, then all assets of the association must be donated to others and not sold for the benefit of the association members.

    I believe you can have an outstanding group of people who are meeting together and an excellent constitution, but an Association can still fail without two things - passion and commitment.

    If passion and commitment are not present especially within the executive positions such as the President, Vice President, Treasurer, Secretary and other Committee members than the Association will never function as well as it could. Having the wrong people in these positions who are not passionate or committed to the purpose of the association means it will never run as well as it could do, and worse still, it could fail.

    Leadership without passion and commitment is not leadership at all.

    Every Association needs passionate and committed leadership and every leader needs a passionate and committed Association. They need and build each other.

    So how do leaders in association lose their passion or commitment? There are many reasons for the lack or decline of passion or commitment in a leader. However one of the main reasons is not feeling appreciated. Leaders in associations give much of their time, energy and resources voluntarily to that Association because they feel their efforts are being valued.

    These people could be leading other organisations but have chosen this particular association with its particular purpose, however, the very nature of an Association’s constitution never allows any of its leaders to receive the remuneration of benefits they so richly deserve, at least financially or through any remuneration anyway. By the very nature of Associations any leaders who are mainly motivated by remuneration will lose their passion and commitment for that Association.

    Additionally, leaders who have been leading that Association for too long usually end up having their outstanding skills and abilities taken for granted by its members and those members just stop thanking them. It may have been small things that members used to do like acknowledge their birthday with a cake, or drop off some baking or send thank you cards after meetings or events, but in the realm of being appreciated, the total of those seemingly small acts of kindness is always greater than their sum. No one likes to feel unappreciated, especially leaders who could be voluntarily leading and being more valued somewhere else.

    The cure? Set up a thank you person or small team in your Association whose job is to thank people in small ways for the excellent work they are doing. Give them a small budget to do small acts of kindness such as buy thank you cards or organise baking or do whatever they need to do to keep passion and commitment alive in your Association. Start with the leaders – who 9 times out of ten will say, “you did not have to do that”, the reply being, “and you do not have to be here in our Association either, but we are so grateful you are. Thank you.”

    Ngahihi - o – te – ra Bidois is “The Face of New Zealand’ and is an international Leadership Speaker, author, columnist and leader who presents globally to organisations on leadership. He lives in Rotorua New Zealand and is married to Carolyn. Ngahi is a Professional Speaker, Leader, Professional Director, Author and Columnist. He holds a business degree, a teaching diploma and a Masters degree in Education with honours. www.ngahibidois.com

  • 30 Apr 2017 9:26 PM | Shayne Morris (Administrator)

    What Is Cause-Related Marketing?

    Cause-related marketing has exploded in recent years even though it is a relatively young concept.

    Cause marketing began, on a national scale, in the early 1980s when American Express partnered with the nonprofit group that was raising funds to restore the Statue of Liberty.

    American Express gave a portion of every purchase through its credit card to the cause plus an additional donation for every new application resulting in a new credit card customer.

    The company also launched a huge, for its time, advertising campaign.

    The results are now legendary: the Restoration Fund raised over $1.7 million, and American Express card use rose 27 percent. New card applications increased 45 percent over the previous year. All this was accomplished with a three-month campaign.

    Everyone involved was a winner. The charitable cause received needed funds, American Express increased sales of its product and achieved a reputation for social responsibility. American Express even trademarked the term "cause-related marketing."

    Now, companies have fully embraced what is called "doing well while doing good." Cause-related marketing may eventually become the primary way that businesses express their social responsibility.

    The growth of cause marketing grew from a $120 million industry in 1990 to more than $2 billion in 2016. Plus consumers seem to like it. Research shows that more than 84 percent of global consumers want to buy socially or environmentally responsible services and products.

    How Does It Work?

    There are many versions of cause-related marketing. It is an agreement between a business and a nonprofit to raise money for a particular cause. The company expects to profit from this arrangement by selling more products and by enjoying the "halo" effect of being associated with a respected nonprofit or cause.

    A cause-related marketing program is not an anonymous or low-key donation to a nonprofit, but one that lets the public know that this corporation is socially responsible and interested in the same causes as its customers. The nonprofit benefits both financially and through a higher public profile as a result of its partner's marketing efforts.

    Cause-related marketing campaigns have blossomed over the last few years and can appear in a variety of forms. Jocelyne Daw, in her book Cause Marketing for Nonprofits, lists some of the most popular:

    Product sales. Think of the (Red) campaign, which brought together many companies to sell specially branded products (a red Gap T-shirt or a red iPod for instance) with a portion of the selling price going to the Global Fund for HIV/AIDS prevention.

    Purchase Plus. Also called "point-of-purchase, this popular campaign takes place at the checkout lines of grocery stores or other retail stores. Customers add a donation to their bill. The store processes the money and gives it to a partner nonprofit. Promotion is pretty low-key, but that makes these programs easy to set up. "Checkout for charity" campaigns raised more than $388 million in 2014 and $3.88 billion over the past three decades.

    Licensing of the nonprofit's logo, brand, and assets. Licensing runs the gamut from products that are extensions of the nonprofit's mission to using its logo on promotional items such as T-shirts, mugs, and credit cards to having the nonprofit provide a certification or commendation of particular products. An example of the latter is the American Heart Association that endorses products that meet its standards for heart health.

    Cobranded events and programs. Probably the best-known example of a cobranded event is the Susan G. Komen "Race for the Cure." But these are not always runs or walks. For instance, the London Children's Museum teamed up with the 3M company to build and outfit a science gallery for children. Scientists from the company helped with the exhibits while its employees served as volunteers.

    Social or public service marketing programs. Social marketing involves the use of marketing principles and techniques to encourage behavior change in a particular audience. An example is the partnership of the American Cancer Society with several companies over the years, for the Great American Smokeout.

    Is Cause-Related Marketing Different from Corporate Philanthropy and Corporate Sponsorships?

    There are differences in these categories of cause marketing although they might not be that apparent to consumers.

    For instance, corporate philanthropy consists of direct monetary gifts to a nonprofit. Those donations often come from the corporation's foundation. These donations likely support a particular program that the nonprofit runs and can be of short or long duration.

    Corporate sponsorship is a bit closer to cause marketing since the corporation gives the nonprofit money to hold an event, run an art exhibit, or other time-limited activity. The funds may come from the community relations budget of the corporation, or the marketing budget and the company expects a certain amount of publicity in the way of signage, PSAs, and promotional materials.

    What Are the Advantages of Cause-Related Marketing?

    Both nonprofit and business enjoy many benefits. For a business, cause-related marketing proves that it is socially responsible and provides great public awareness of its values and willingness to support good causes.

    For the nonprofit, the contributions from a cause-related marketing project can be significant, and those funds are usually unrestricted so even overhead costs can be covered. Besides actual monetary benefit, a charity enjoys the expanded publicity and advertising that often accompanies a cause-related marketing program. That marketing and PR may come from the corporation's public relations and marketing departments in partnership with the nonprofit's marketing.

    Are There Disadvantages of Cause-Related Marketing?

    There is always the possibility that one of the parties involved (nonprofit or corporation) does something that hurts its reputation. In that case, the other party may be perceived negatively as well. For that reason, companies and nonprofits should choose their partners wisely.

    Besides, there has been considerable concern about nonprofits lending their good names to for-profit activities. Does it weaken the trustworthiness of a nonprofit? Does it blur the lines between business and philanthropy? Could a nonprofit "sell out" by lending its support to products that are less than benign for the public? These questions continue still hound both fundraising and marketing professionals.

    Mara Einstein, a marketing professor, raised these issues in an article in the Chronicle of Philanthropy:

    • Does buying products for a cause take the place of writing a check to a charity or going online and signing up for a monthly gift?
    • Do large, national nonprofits that have become marketing powerhouses take attention and money away from smaller but just as worthy charities?
    • Since cause-marketing is usually handled by the marketing department of participating corporations, do "product strategies" outweigh humanitarian ones?

    All of these questions are legitimate. We all know of cause marketing campaigns that have gone terribly wrong. Probably the most memorable occurred when the Susan G. Komen organization teamed up with Kentucky Fried Chicken. It will be a long time before we forget those pink buckets of chicken! There was general outrage to see an unhealthy product linked to a breast cancer charity,

    On the other hand, great good comes from cause marketing campaigns when all parties choose causes and businesses well.

    Joe Waters, a guru of cause marketing, points out that there are unlimited possibilities for charities and businesses to do good together. And, as consumers continue to put their money where their hearts are, charities should look for opportunities to take part in the cause marketing world.

    Resources for this article include:

    • Cause Marketing for Nonprofits: Partner for Purpose, Passion, and Profits, Jocelyne Daw, Wiley, 2006. An extremely well-documented text about cause-related marketing.
    • The Art of Cause Marketing: How to Use Advertising to Change Personal Behavior and Public Policy, Richard Earle, McGraw-Hill, 2002. Earle cites his top ten list of the best cause-marketing campaigns and why they worked.
    • Engage for Good (formerly the Cause Marketing Forum) The best place to keep up with cause marketing.
    • Charities Shouldn’t Let Corporate Marketers Set the Agenda, Mara Einstein, Chronicle of Philanthropy (April 29, 2012). A must-read classic.

    This articles was sourced from The Balance.

  • 30 Apr 2017 9:09 PM | Shayne Morris (Administrator)

    In early April, the Taxation (Annual Rates for 2017–18, Employment and Investment Income, and Remedial Matters) Bill was introduced into Parliament. The Bill includes proposals requiring employers to provide Inland Revenue with information about their employees’ income and deductions on a payday basis, rather than on the current monthly basis. This will allow employers to take advantage of modern digital systems to integrate the PAYE process into their normal business processes of paying their employees and to reduce compliance costs. The Bill also proposes that financial institutions, such as banks, would provide more frequent and detailed information about the income earned by investors (such as interest, dividends, and taxable Māori authority distributions) and tax withheld. With more up-to-date information Inland Revenue will be able to make sure that people are getting their tax withheld correctly throughout the year, and reduce the number of people who find themselves having over or underpaid tax at the end of the financial year. It will be easier for customers to access the information that Inland Revenue holds about them. It also means that Inland Revenue can improve how it administers Working for Families, child support and student loan repayments, making these payments more certain and simpler for customers. The employment and investment income proposals have resulted from earlier consultations in the Making Tax Simpler series on Investment Income Information and Better Administration of PAYE and GST. More information is available on our Tax Policy website.

  • 29 Apr 2017 8:31 PM | Shayne Morris (Administrator)

    AuSAE has welcomed new members from the following organisations this month. Is your organisation on this list? If your organisation is on this list as an AuSAE organisational member but you are unsure if you are part of the membership bundle, please contact the friendly AuSAE team at info@ausae.org.au.

    Not on this list? To join AuSAE today please visit our membership information page here.

     Organisation  Membership Level
    SMSF Association Association Executive (Individual)
    Australian Dental Prosthetists Association
    Association (Organisational - Small)
    Electrical Trades Union of Australia
    Association (Organisational - Small)
    Aust. Institute of Superannuation Trustees
    Association (Organisational - Small)
    Clean Energy Council  Association (Organisational - Small)
    Community Broadcasting Assoc. of Aust. Association (Organisational - Small)
    Triathlon ACT Association Executive (Individual)
    Real Estate Institute of Victoria Association Executive (Individual)
    NZ Needle Exchange Programme Association Executive (Individual)
    Australian Veterinary Association
    Association (Organisational - Large)
    Girl Guides - NSW & ACT Association Executive (Individual)
    St John Ambulance Australia NSW  Association Executive (Individual)
    Royal Flying Doctor Service Association Executive (Individual)
  • 27 Apr 2017 10:36 AM | Shayne Morris (Administrator)

    Keynote speaker, Liana Downey – strategy advisor and author of Mission Control: How Nonprofits and Governments Can Focus, Achieve More and Change the World – will provide insights into why some non-for-profit leaders succeed while others struggle to point to their impact.

    To continue the theme of challenging the status quo, the conference is honoured to welcome keynotes from three of Australia’s leading business authorities including 2016 AOC Chef de Mission Kitty Chiller, founding director of RedBalloon and Redii.com Naomi Simson, and co-founder and CMO of Sendle.com Craig Davis. The program will also feature over 25 sector leaders who will share their insights and knowledge on current challenges and opportunities faced by association professionals today.

    Chief executive officer of AuSAE Brendon Ward says that the ACE includes a diverse range of professional speakers and is the most exciting yet, addressing a broad range of issues faced by the not-for-profit sector and businesses today.

    “One of the underlying themes throughout the program is that of leadership and culture management in associations across Australia. New ‘people-first’ management strategies are visible throughout the world’s biggest businesses today, and we’re eager to share what this means for associations and not-for-profits,” Ward said.

    “As a not-for-profit organisation representing other not for profits, AuSAE has a unique understanding of the opportunities and challenges NFP professionals face and how this knowledge could strengthen the wider industry,” Ward said.

    ACE is the association sector showcase event of the year. It allows professionals to step away from the industry issues they navigate every day and think about the performance of their own organisation to support them to succeed in their current role or to move onto the next big thing.

    Australasian Society of Association Executives (AuSAE), the leading association for current and future association leaders in Australia, represents more than 12,000 professionals and is focused on fostering a strong and robust association and not-for-profit sector in Australia. AuSAE provides a hub for individuals to access professional development, support and networking opportunities.

    ACE 2017 takes place on 11 to 12 May in Sydney. The conference will be one of the premier opportunities to learn from and connect with industry leaders. Visit http://www.ausae.org.au/ace/program to view the full program and learn about the keynote speakers.

    Register now by clicking here

  • 26 Apr 2017 12:13 PM | Shayne Morris (Administrator)

    AuSAE is undertaking a survey to help us find out what is important to association executives, and the services and activities that we could provide that would deliver real value to you. We have asked Survey Matters, and independent research agency, to conduct the survey so you can be sure your feedback is confidential. 

    Please look out for an email from Survey Matters with your unique link to the survey and take the time to tell us what matters to you. 

    For more information about the survey please contact Survey Matters on info@surveymatters.com.au.

  • 25 Apr 2017 2:07 PM | Shayne Morris (Administrator)

    Notice of the 2017 Annual General Meeting of the Australasian Society of Association Executives (AuSAE)

    The Australasian Society of Association Executives (AuSAE) Board of Directors invite you to attend the Annual General Meeting. The AuSAE Annual General Meeting will be held on Wednesday 10 May 2017 from 5.00PM (EST) at the International Convention Centre (ICC), Sydney. Following the meeting all attendees will be invited to join the welcome function of the AuSAE Conference and Exhibition.

    The Annual General Meeting is a time to celebrate and reflect on AuSAE’s achievements during the last calendar year and to discuss future plans. It is also a great opportunity to network and meet with colleagues in the sector. If you would like to attend, please RSVP by Tuesday 2 May 2017 to ceo@ausae.org.au.

    If you are a member of AuSAE and did not received your official notice, please contact Brendon Ward, CEO on 1300 764 576 or email ceo@ausae.org.au

  • 25 Apr 2017 1:35 PM | Shayne Morris (Administrator)

    Board self-assessments provide an opportunity to analyze everything from how a board is structured to the performance of directors in order to pinpoint areas in need of improvement and equip the board to better meet company goals. While board self-assessment is already top of mind for many companies, some question how best to begin. The following guide is designed to help you zero in on which aspects of your board to evaluate, and how to apply the results for future success.

    Board Composition

    Building a “strong, qualified board of directors” -  along with appraising its performance - tops law firm McInnes Cooper’s corporate governance best practices list. So what should you look for when assessing the composition of your board?

    According to the Harvard Law School Forum on Corporate Governance and Financial Regulation, boards and corporate governance committees must “think critically” about the skills and attributes of their current directors, and consider how these relate to company oversight.

    While the right mix of skills may vary from board to board based on factors such as industry type and company objectives, the Harvard Law forum paper notes that high-performing boards typically require several things: “agile directors who can grasp concepts quickly, fiercely independent thinkers who consciously avoid groupthink and are able to challenge management - while still contributing to a productive and collegial boardroom environment,” and “directors with different backgrounds… who understand how the company’s strategy is impacted by emerging economic and technological trends.”

    Companies and their administrators can use these characteristics and criteria to assess their existing board and its culture, but they’re also useful for creating a strategy related to future board appointments, whether you plan to add new directors to expand the size of a board or engage in a board refresh.

    Aside from analyzing directors’ skills and competencies, companies can use self-assessment as an opportunity to ensure that their board is sufficiently diverse. According to PricewaterhouseCooper’s 2016 Annual Corporate Directors Survey, 96 percent of directors agree that diversity is important, but global executive search firm Spencer Stuart found that in 2015 women represented just 20 percent of S&P 500 boards. Meanwhile, research from Catalyst, a nonprofit dedicated to creating workplace diversity, shows that organizations with the most women board members experienced a superior return on sales and return on invested capital, compared with boards that included few women directors.

    Board Effectiveness

    When it comes to evaluating the effectiveness of your board, consulting resource Boardroom Metrics recommends that companies ask the following questions:

    1. Do the board members’ skills and expertise match the strategic direction and plan of the organization?
    2. Does the information the board receives support its ability to assess risk, set direction and lead the organization?
    3. Is effective leadership provided by the board and committee chairs?
    4. Do the board’s processes facilitate effective knowledge-gathering, decision making, planning and execution of board decisions?
    5. Does the board work together well as a team and with management?

    Honing in on what’s to blame for ineffectual performance can help a company identify the specific areas most in need of attention. It could be, for example, that your board members are disengaged. In this case, a board refresh might indeed be the ideal solution.

    Perhaps your directors could benefit from better communication with the C-suite crowd, or possibly an outdated system for sharing board meeting documents and board meeting minutes is negatively influencing efficiency. Either way, the results of your board effectiveness assessment will determine your next steps.

    Board Meeting Process

    If you do find that your board meetings aren’t as effective as they could be, then your meeting process is likely to blame.

    In an article titled “8 Ways to Better Board Meetings,” published by national nonprofit leadership and strategy practice CompassPoint, the company’s senior project director Marla Cornelius explained the importance of maximizing board meetings.

    “The job of board members is very complex, and by nature, intensely collaborative,” Cornelius wrote. “Making the most of board meetings isn’t just a good habit to aspire to, it’s essential to good governance, strong leadership, and healthy organizations.”

    When meeting process is a point of issue, adopting board portal software to streamline communications and enhance collaboration can help. Among other things, tools like this allow directors and administrators to refine how board meeting minutes are taken and distributed.

    CompassPoint named board packets as a top tool for improving board meetings by increasing member engagement and making the most of the board’s “collective wisdom.” When companies transfer these materials online, along with a board meeting agenda, board members are capable of accessing meeting-related documents from anywhere in the world. That, in turn, makes it easier for members to come prepared and - as CompassPoint notes - have “the right focus at the right time.”

    Corporate Management and Board Communication

    A board assessment wouldn’t be complete without an evaluation of the way your board and your company’s executive management interact, as this plays a huge role in ensuring that a board can achieve its objectives and complete its mission to build and maintain a successful company. On the subject of creating a better board-CEO relationship, Trustee magazine writes, “Good communication between the board and CEO is essential, and this applies to both substance and style.”

    Similarly, an article published by The Markkula Center for Applied Ethics at Santa Clara University states: “For a company to function effectively, the management team and the board of directors must be in general alignment.” Naturally, that can’t happen unless the lines of communication are open and all parties are able to interface effectively.

    To assess the relationship between your CEO and your board, explore whether board members and management are able to have productive discussions in which everyone involved feels comfortable voicing their opinions. Additionally, it’s important to determine the degree to which the CEO and upper management openly accept the outcome of decisions made by the board.

    Trustee magazine’s advice is to “aim to create a culture of trust where it’s safe to disagree, but everyone understands that once a decision is made together, everyone supports the decision whether they agreed or not.”

    When companies embrace the board self-assessment process and use their findings to build a more functional board, they stand to gain big. As you launch your own board evaluation and engage in future assessments, always keep these fundamental aspects of board structure, performance and functionality in mind.

    Article is sourced from Diligent

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