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How Virtual Board Meetings Can Be Better Than The Real Thing

Keith Ferrazzi and Sarah Zapp

How Virtual Board Meetings Can Be Better Than The Real Thing

Governance
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August 19, 2020

Like everyone else, members of corporate boards have had to innovate quickly due to Covid-19. A once-in-a-generation economic shock has put vital strategic decisions on the table without the luxury of in-person meetings. Boards have had to balance the unfamiliarity of going virtual with the pressures of protecting their organizations from catastrophe. While most boards are still finding that balance, a number of fast-adapting companies have found that virtual board meetings are better than the real thing. Aside from the obvious benefits of reduced travel and increased attendance, shifting to virtual has allowed boards to improve governance and collaboration through shorter agendas, crisper presentations, more inclusive and bolder conversations, and broader exposure to key executives and outside experts.

“I’ve had a handful of CEOs and board chairs specifically tell me, ‘We’re not going back to the way it was. We see tremendous benefit to doing it this way,” says Jim Citrin, who leads Spencer Stuart’s North American CEO practice

Ron Sugar, chairman of Uber’s board and member of the boards of Apple, Amgen, and Chevron, says that “for many years, boards have been reluctant to use virtual meeting technology. While perhaps never a complete substitute for physical presence, timely virtual connectivity can often make a huge difference in a board’s effectiveness.”

Read the full story "The Upside Of Virtual Board Meetings" by Keith Ferrazzi and Sarah Zapp at HBR.org.

Photo by Drew Beamer on Unsplash

Governance
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July 10, 2020