Is the pandemic forcing your board to go virtual for the first time? This change to a longstanding governance ritual can seem like an overwhelming one for organizations who have never had to ponder a switch, especially with so much else going on. Yet there are many efficiencies and benefits to thinking about your empty board room as a long-term option even after restrictions are lifted. I created a list of Top 5 “virtual” benefits for my ED, CEO, and Board Chair clients who will soon be holding their first virtual meeting. It has really helped ease their concerns as they dip a toe into the waters of virtual boards…and has even created new opportunities for mission fulfillment and revenue generation.
1. Making all or some of your future board meetings virtual allows you to focus in-person meetings on building relationships, increasing teamwork, and strategic planning (think retreats, orientations, and annual meetings). This makes the in-person meetings more valuable and effective.
2. Going virtual offers a great opportunity to deploy technology to your board, such as a new or improved board portal, cloud-based folders or other online archives, and platforms for task management, communication and accountability (like Slack, WhatsApp, Trello, or Asana).
3. This is a GOLDEN opportunity to invite guest speakers from all over the world to your board meeting.
4. Virtual meetings make it easy to add remote non-board members to committees, a practice I always encourage for my clients, especially for Development Committees.
5. With a virtual board, you can consider recruiting and engaging outstanding new board members from any location to join your cause.
With all of this also comes the turnkey option to have a consultant or a staff member with capacity (think Millennial!) run all of this for the CEO, ED, or board chair so that the leadership can concentrate on navigating the pandemic and pursuing the mission.