The Modern Board: Meet the founder making board work easier

More than 70% of boards adopting On boarda digital governance software platform, come each month from what the company’s CEO, Paroon Chadha, calls the “P world”: paper and pen.

As companies move various elements of their work to the digital realm, their boards of directors, more often than not, still live in the analog world. Boards of directors meet in person. The minutes are written by hand. Two hundred page hardback books are printed, assembled and shipped via FedEx to the members of the board of directors. It was only during the pandemic that the work of the board of directors shifted to Zoom and other digital platforms, but since life has evolved to its new normal, Chadha says, many boards are returning to the 2019 routine of shuffling papers.

“Cardboard materials are difficult to produce, difficult to share, and virtually impossible to update without cost,” says Chadha. “When you go digital, you have the ability to do so much more. You gain in agility and security. This is obvious these days. »

CEO Paroon Chadha founded OnBoard, a board intelligence platform that simplifies due diligence, providing organizations a more efficient way to do board work.

Courtesy of OnBoard

Simply put, Chadha wants boards to stop wasting time organizing information in board books that take hours to produce, thumbing through files for past data analysis, and writing by hand minutes of meetings. He advises “leveraging digital” and letting the software do it for you. Then, he says, boards can focus their energy on the work they’re actually there to do. A high-performing board is one that is fully engaged with the difficult issues and difficult situations facing its company.

Chadha launched OnBoard over a decade ago and continually optimizes the platform while working to solve persistent problems felt by boards of all kinds. Today, OnBoard is an intelligence platform that simplifies due diligence, increases transparency, adds security, and gives organizations a more efficient workflow for their boards. He works with more than 30,000 boards of directors of 5,000 different organizations, spanning financial companies, health care institutions, universities and other educational institutions, non-profit organizations as well as government associations and community. These include both public and private companies, including Fortune 500 companies, with headquarters located in 32 different countries. Chadha said they capture information from more than 100,000 meetings a year.

Paroon Chadha, CEO of OnBoard.

Courtesy of OnBoard

The product itself is simple: it keeps all your board-related documents in one place. Users log in like they do with any other productivity tool, and they can access everything the board discussed. Users can easily search by keyword for information captured in previous meeting minutes or previous board books. They can also communicate through the system with other board members, keeping all discussions in a secure, searchable digital space. Before a meeting, administrators can quickly draft and share agendas. The platform integrates with Zoom for meetings and has electronic signature and vote approval features. And it’s packed with data and analytics to better understand your organization’s governance.

“Every board can be highly successful with the right set of tools and structure,” says Chadha, emphasizing that this optimization leads to more informed decision-making and efficiency. “We are just the infrastructure you use to discuss important board issues. It is therefore intentionally designed to be extremely simple. »

A screenshot of OnBoard software showing meeting metrics, engagement, and comments.

Courtesy of OnBoard

Chadha explained that, of course, boards could use other organizational means, such as Google To drive, Drop boxAnd DocuSign. They offer the agility that digital technology brings. While these organizational tools are a step in the right direction, its purpose-built platform offers encrypted messaging, certified and accredited data protection, and security protocols that keep private information private. This is useful for messaging, says Chadha. By hosting all messages between board members on the platform, it protects against email hacking, leaks, or accidental email forwarding.

Chadha is also rolling out a new feature allowing boards to rate their experience, just like you would rate a Uber driver on the app or your doctor on ZocDoc. He believes this will help organizers accomplish more in their work. Instead of waiting for an annual review at the end of the year, boards can continually improve elements of their role.

What’s next for board innovation? What Chadha is particularly passionate about today is the modern challenge facing boards around the world, including his clients: how to deal with difficult and sometimes unexpected social situations, whether #MeToo, Black Lives Matter, ESG and sustainable development initiatives, positive initiatives. action, gun violence or other political and social justice conversations that impact leaders and businesses. As social media debates these topics at lightning speed, boards are under increased pressure from stakeholders, employees and customers to respond quickly to these issues. By easily accessing past conversations, company data, and other relevant information, boards are able to make a faster, more informed decision.

“The job market is tight and the employee base is extremely knowledgeable and savvy on many of these issues,” says Chadha. “Plus, your suppliers, your communities, and regulators: all of these stakeholders require you to be informed and structured. »

“Organizations need to think about people, profit and the planet,” he continues. “Governance platforms do it well. »

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