Focus on addressing governance matters, not on grappling with multiple systems. Combining messages, documents and tasks onto a single platform is the smart way for directors to stay ahead of the game.
“Bondle is the one place where everybody knows they can get up to speed very quickly.”
~ Richard Cawsey GAICD
In a complex and fast-moving world, it is getting harder to stay on top of the required streams of information. Board paper management systems are great for reading, but not resolving questions. Emails compound the problem. Tasks get lost, answers aren’t shared and insights missed,” observes high-growth company strategy and governance advisor Richard Cawsey GAICD. “Sharing insights, resolving questions and preparing for meetings needs better, integrated tools.” “It is hard to be across all the necessary threads,” says Cawsey. “It’s not just the pace, but also the breadth of understanding that is challenging for directors. Technological change is accelerating the necessary speed of decision-making. A pressure felt by all my fellow board members.”
For Cawsey, a large part of the solution is Bondle: a mobile and web-based platform that integrates messaging, documents and tasks. Bondle allows directors to stay ahead; to find the most up-to-date information and manage tasks. Questions of fact or for further work can be raised with all relevant parties in the flow.
“The benefits are clear,” says Cawsey. “Board members come ready to discuss the key issues, reducing time and improving the quality of deliberations.” An increasing number of boards that Cawsey chairs or sits on are using Bondle. “Bondle is the one place where everybody knows they can get up to speed very quickly. They know what all the current issues are. They know where the current data is. They can readily find the necessary documents,” says Cawsey. “Bondle is replacing emails and shared drives, ensuring all who need to know, do know.”
The banking Royal Commission shone a light on records of questions, answers and meetings. “Email and handwritten notes are unlikely to cut it. Directors are likely to be required to demonstrate they have made proper enquiry,” says Cawsey. “Less fragmented environments will prove beneficial in managing these issues.”
Bondle helps resolve and share responses to questions of fact and requests of information — keeping conversations more structured and relevant, and allowing meetings to focus on strategy and opportunities.
For instance, sharing information on a new market opportunity via Bondle avoids unwieldy and often incomplete email chains. The automated audit function allows participants to see who has seen the information, allowing rapid follow-up on key issues. According to Cawsey, Bondle is perhaps the simplest technology a director can use for effective governance communication.
This article was written for and published in the May edition of the Australian Institute of Company Directors publication.