Nowadays board papers don’t arrive with a literal thump.  But often the impact is the same.  This month, to take a look at the perennial issue of board papers, we have invited as “guest editors” Board Intelligence: specialists in board packs and board portal providers.

“I’ve opened too many board packs which give me a sinking feeling – and I’m not even one of the directors.  If I had the weight of a director’s responsibilities on my shoulders, I’d be looking to the board pack as my principal source of insight into value creation, risks, keeping promises to stakeholders and how well management are doing.  I’d want to see a succinct, unvarnished account of these topics, amongst others.  But instead, board packs are often hampered by blind spots in coverage and blizzards of information.” Dineshi Ramesh from Board Intelligence

But do board directors agree?  When asked, many directors say “I’m happy” only to become much less satisfied when asked more probing questions (Are they succinct? Is there always a strong Summary? Are judgements evident?) Maybe they are inured… or they aren’t sure what “good” would look like…or are genuinely happy.

So let’s explore what to look for and what to avoid.