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Challenges of Conducting a Board Meeting Online

Online board meetings offer better scheduling options, while removing the time constraints caused by travel and cost restraints from flights and hotels. They can also help to reduce groupthink and increase diversity between board members. The virtual world comes with its own problems which can lead to less than effective meetings.

In order to transition from in-person meetings to virtual ones, boards have to modify their communication and conduct business. Many of the elements that facilitate communication during meetings in person such as the physical board book as well as digital presentations and sharing documents, need to be recreated for a board meeting that is online. It can be a challenge for board members to navigate technology. A simple board software package can make the process easier. However further training might be required to ensure that board members are successful.

Maintaining engagement and productivity is another problem when conducting an online board session. The constant flow of new topics for discussion can consume time and divert your attention from the most important agenda items. A schedule with 20 percent less items and breaking discussions into 15 minute increments can help in reducing this issue. In addition, providing an online discussion forum that is based on new topics could be beneficial.

Additionally, it is essential for remote attendees to be able to be able to see faces of the in-room attendees. This can be accomplished by removing background images or removing participants from lighting fixtures in windows that could be glaring on the screen or obscure images for other board members. Additionally, avoiding distractions like cell phones or other gadgets can increase the participant’s ability to focus on the content being discussed.

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