We all know the power of an effective board pack. With the right information, boards are able to have the right conversations. But without it, they are blindfolded.
Despite the time and effort that goes into producing board papers, do you feel that your board pack somehow fails to hit the mark — but you aren’t sure why? Here are 5 common (but costly) mistakes we see in board packs:
1. Information over insight
Reports often contain huge amounts of data, but fail to draw out the ‘so what?’ or answer the questions on the board’s mind. Board members often comment; “Don’t just tell me everything that you know, draw out what I need to know.”
2. Too backward-looking
Papers with too much backward-looking information are only telling half of the story. Boards need to know future risks and opportunities just as much as they need to understand past performance.
3. Too long
In a War and Peace style board pack, it’s easy for boards to be blinded by the volume and miss critical information, particularly as board members tend to spend just a few hours reading their packs before the meeting.
4. No clear idea of materiality or the input required
Without an Executive Summary to draw out the context of the paper, the key questions it addresses, the conclusions reached and input sought, board members do not know why they are receiving each report, how much time to spend on it and what to look out for as they prepare for the board meeting.
5. Not enough strategic discussion
Strategy is a key part of any board’s mandate, yet papers often lack strategic insight and don’t show any evidence of options considered and options rejected. It’s difficult for boards to have effective strategic discussions if they are only given the high level conclusions.
We see these 5 mistakes time and time again when we review board papers. Luckily they are easily addressed. If you have come across these mistakes read our 5 simple solutions for board pack success.
If you have any questions relating your organisation’s board packs or board reporting, please get in touch with Dineshi Ramesh.
Click here to read the 5 Solutions.