June 29, 2015
While finding the time to host a Board meeting is a challenge in itself, once you have everyone there keeping them engaged in the process can be difficult. As individuals become more and more dependent on their smartphones, the need to constantly be connected can detract from the productivity of a meeting. Here is a creative tip to keep board members engaged and participating in your next meeting.
Ask Board members to remove their personal technology devices from the meeting. And don’t just stop at the warning, try implementing a “fine” for anyone that checks their phone for email, picks up a phone call or uses the internet.
We tested this out at a recent Kellen client Board meeting. A technology ban was put in place with a penalty fine of $20 for every time someone interrupted the proceedings to check their devices. The organization’s Past President was responsible for keeping people focused and “fining” people as needed.
To accommodate for these changes, the Board book was sent out earlier than normal so that all Board members would have time to review the contents before the meeting. The Kellen team also brought extra copies to have on-site, and put it up on the screen for people to follow. Extra time was allotted for breaks so that the Board members could check email, return phone calls, and catch up on anything they’d missed during the morning session.
The technology ban resulted in Board members being much more involved and focused on the meeting. Without the constant distraction of technology, and even with the longer breaks, the meeting ended early, meaning Board members could get back to their busy schedules.
What makes this technology ban fun is that you can decide what to do with the collected money. In the example above, the organization put the collection towards their advocacy fund. It could also be donated to a local charity, or reinvested back into your organization’s newest programs.