Do Board Characteristics Matter to the Ethical Reputation of Financial Institutions?

Financial institutions have faced increased scrutiny surrounding their ethical practices following the Great Recession of 2008. This has placed additional pressure on boards of directors to manage the ethical reputation of the banks they serve. In an article published in the Journal of Business Ethics, researchers Emilia and Sami Vähämaa, Laura Baselga-Pascual, and Antonio Trujillo-Ponce hypothesize that a positive relationship exists between director characteristics favoring effective oversight and the ethical reputation of their financial institutions.

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Using Surveys for Better College Board Meetings

The ability to create and share surveys is one of the most useful tools software like Directorpoint can offer a college board. Maybe you use the survey feature, but want to make sure you’re making the most of what it has to offer. Or maybe you haven’t touched the survey tool and are looking for a reason to try it out. Either way, you’re in the right place. This is the first installment of a new series we’re calling Feature Focus where we take a closer look at our features, breaking down the benefits and best practices boards need to know.

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How College Boards Avoid Hidden Costs in Board Software Licenses

Navigating the selection of a board software provider can place undo stress on college boards. With many vendors offering nearly identical solutions, each claiming their own to be superior, prioritizing minute differentiators can make a major difference. In this article, we’re taking a closer look at one difference among board software providers that’s costing college boards a fortune.

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Potted plants are a metaphor for splitting a bank's board portal between multiple apps.

Bank Boards: Don’t Spread Your Portal Across Multiple Apps

From a management standpoint, bank boards walk a thin line when implementing a board portal; a line that exists, in part, due to the challenge that arises in overcoming a learning curve. How do you ask a group of people with decades of expertise to learn something new? There’s no way to get around it. Seamless design is great for mitigating the curve, but it doesn’t eliminate it. Introducing new technology to your board of directors is too complex and delicate a task to cover in this article (or any one article, for that matter).

Instead we’re going to focus on a major pitfall bank boards fall into when implementing a board portal. Avoiding this single hazard can mean the difference between success and failure in the implementation process.

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Guiding Board Feedback to Preserve Candor | Cut to the Candor (Part Two)

For a board of directors to deliberate effectively, there’s often some amount of “ice” to be broken with regards to receiving honest feedback. In the last installment of our two-part series, Cut to the Candor: Breaking the Ice for Honest Insights, we discussed some of the many reasons someone contributing to board decision-making (either in the Evaluation or the Deliberation Phase) might reserve their candid opinions. Finding the source of hesitation plays an important role in the subject of our final installment: guiding board feedback to preserve candor.

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Finding the Source of Board Member Hesitation | Cut to the Candor (Part One)

Preserving candor in your board of directors can make or break effective deliberation. Effective decision-making relies on informed, honest, and direct communication. So, why are honest insights often so hard to find? What can you do to ensure your board cuts straight to the candor when making a decision? Let’s find out in the first installment of our two-part series — Cut to the Candor: Breaking the Ice for Honest Insights!

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Directorpoint CTO Recognized As Outstanding Tech Innovator

Businessman magical touch concept

We’re proud to announce that our very own Chief Technology Officer, Trey McMeans, was recently named a “Rising Star of Tech and Innovation” by the Birmingham Business Journal.

The BBJ points out that the awardees are individuals who are expected to “lead the charge…in taking Birmingham’s innovation economy to the next level.”

Prior to joining Directorpoint, McMeans was the CEO and founder of a SaaS company called GreekStudy.

The GPS-enabled, academic hours-tracking application acquired over 1,000 clients across the country and experienced exceptional success under his leadership and guidance. In 2016, McMeans sold the company in order to focus on full-time leadership as the Directorpoint CTO.
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Taking an Unpopular Stand as a Board Member

Individuality concept, birds on a wire

Disagreement is a natural part of the boardroom process. In fact, it’s an integral element in decision-making. Diversity of thought helps board members analyze their options from varying angles, which ultimately helps them make better choices as a collective.

From time to time, however, you may find yourself as the odd man out. First and foremost, don’t worry; it’s OK to take an unpopular stand, but there is a more effective way to way to do it. Here are our suggestions:

  1. Don’t go silent.

For many directors who realize they’ve adopted an unpopular stance, the choice to go silent makes the most sense. While you may believe that you’re being a better group member by bowing out of discussion, you could actually be doing a disservice to your board. Keep in mind that your opinion has equal value in the board setting, and you may be looking at a problem from a truly unique angle that others need to hear.
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The Benefits of Diversity in the Boardroom

DiverseOver the last two decades, corporate board diversity has been growing steadily. In 2015 women held nearly 18% of the board positions at Fortune 1000 companies—a percentage that has doubled over the last 20 years.

As for racial minorities, they hold about 15% of board roles in Fortune 250 companies and are continuing to make gains.

Regardless of where the current statistics fall, though, the bottom line is that studies show diversity in the boardroom brings many benefits.

We’ve compiled a few of these benefits to share with you:

A diverse boardroom provides a diversity of thought

All board members bring their own personal background and experiences to their position in the boardroom. Each individual mind is capable of offering unique ideas, solutions, and strategies. For boards with a more diverse membership, the breadth of personal experience is wider and more comprehensive.

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Being an Effective Board Chairman

effective board chairman

Effective leadership is a topic that has been visited and revisited by business publications, psychology magazines, and more. People have a lot to say about leadership and what makes a particular style of leadership great.

But when it comes to board leadership, what really puts a board chair a head above the rest?

Effective board chairs seek meaningful contact between board meetings

According to Harvard Business Review, “Impromptu discussions strengthen a board’s hand on the company’s pulse. Keeping board members informed also minimizes the time spent on background that slows up regular board meetings.” When board chairs take the lead to spark conversation outside of meetings, other board members are more likely to follow suit.

At Directorpoint, we encourage this sort of collaboration outside of the meeting with our member-to-member messaging system. Instead of clogging one another’s inboxes, board members can reach out to their cohorts quickly and easily both during and outside of meeting times.
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