According to a post from Equilar, more than 10% of US public companies have four or more directors over the age of 70. As the baby boomers move into retirement, there will inevitably be a wave of turnover among directors and executives. Any transition can be difficult, but transitions among directors can be uniquely difficult because long serving directors are often the keepers of vast amounts of institutional knowledge. And, the knowledge that long time directors have is often about critical strategic thinking for the company.
It is said that the smart person learns from his mistake, and never makes it again. While the wise person learns from the mistakes of others and never makes them in the first place. When a new director comes in to replace a retiring director, it can be difficult, even with the best of intentions, for the new director to learn from others' past mistakes and past successes. There are several reasons for this, but one reason is that there often isn't a great set of board records that the new director can walk through in order to familiarize herself with the board's deliberations. When kept organized, the meeting minutes serve as a starting point, but the minutes of board meetings are, appropriately, a record of actions the board took and not a comprehensive history of the board's thinking.
This transition is a tricky one, but iBoardrooms can help. One of the features that we provide to help directors is a way to take notes on board agendas and documents. These notes are not part of the minutes or other official records of the board, but can help a director to organize their thoughts for a meeting. They can also be a great transition tool to help an incoming director get up to speed on the boards' thinking. Give iBoardrooms a try free for thirty days and let us help your board be great.