Governance in a Pandemic

10.05.2020 | Guides & Tools | Robert C. Harris

Boards are adapting to remote meetings for governance purposes. Post-pandemic associations will maintain some form of adapted governance.

When asked how to adapt, I offer this advice:

A. Technology – Find your platform and be familiar with benefits such as raising hands, muting, and polling. You want board and staff confidence in the technology.

B. Cameras On – Urge all participants to turn on their cameras. Whether in person or on a call, body language is key to gauge understanding and commitment.

C. Frequency – Most boards meet quarterly; during a pandemic, the meetings may be more frequent to address urgent issues.

D. Duration – Attention spans, realizing the distractions during virtual meetings, are usually 45 minutes. Dispense with reports and get to the business at hand.

E. Confidentiality – Know who is listening in on the call. Remind directors of the needs to respect the policy on confidentiality and who speaks for the organization. If unknown numbers or faces join the call, identify them; eject persons entering the meeting by accident or maliciously.

F. Roll-Call – If cameras are not all, be sure to take a roll call before votes to ensure a quorum remains present.

G. Protocols – Continue to rely on a well-crafted agenda, rules of order, and minutes that document the work of the board.