How to Run Board Meetings in Times of Crisis

Covid-19 was the cause of the business crisis around the world in 2020. Companies faced challenges such as staff health vulnerability, lack of cash resources, and adapting to a new work environment, which significantly reduced the pace of companies. During difficult times, your board and management team must show special cooperation and cohesion. To cope with the current crisis, managers must change board tactics, and in this article, we will understand how to manage the board in times of crisis.

Mitigate the consequences

Many executives neglect to mitigate the effects of the crisis on their company and jump right into a recovery. Still, this way, you miss several important steps, which will not allow you to quickly get out of a crisis. Starting with mitigation, your company should take the following steps:

  • Forming a risk management team, which should include human resources and finance professionals
  • Assigning a coordinator for the effort
  • Create a business continuity plan to help determine how you will serve your customers and move toward your goals during a crisis
  • Establish reliable channels of communication and sources of information

In doing so, the board should facilitate the following:

    • Provide a business continuity plan
    • Make sure risk management is the CEO’s responsibility
    • Be prepared to act during business
    • Control the risk management plan; it should be updated as the company’s life cycle changes
    • Awareness of the budgetary implications of the crisis and the area of revenue and expenses
    • Manage investment funds

Ensure proper preparedness

To strengthen your business during a crisis and bring it to readiness, you must:

      • Organize a robust remote work structure while using professional tools such as board portals
      • Regularly review insurance policies, and make adjustments if necessary
      • Develop plans for virtual board meetings
      • Create a crisis communications plan

In this case, the board can be helped in this way:

      • Inspect the bylaws to make sure virtual board meetings are allowed
      • Determine parameters for access to financial reserves
      • Periodic online board meetings
      • Regularly reviewing and updating the crisis communications plan

Response Phase

To move one step forward in dealing with a crisis, the company must take these steps:

        • Identify priority issues
        • Regular communication with key stakeholders
        • Create contingency budget plans and review them
        • Start implementing a business continuity plan
        • Review your staffing needs
        • Manage and reduce stress reactions from all company stakeholders
        • Stabilize your cash flow by seeking help from the response and recovery funds
        • Look at what places in your business the crisis has made most vulnerable, and begin to develop a plan to address them further

The board’s role during this phase is to:

        • Support the COE and all of its decisions
        • Monitor and support a business continuity plan
        • Create a creative approach
        • Manage and triage the amount of aid from recovery funds
        • Document company stressors
        • Have face-to-face meetings and always keep your colleagues informed

Crisis recovery

The final phase of crisis recovery includes the following actions:

          • A complete overhaul of the business model
          • Communicate and absorb knowledge
          • Develop a strategic plan
          • Access to recovery funding
          • Address business vulnerabilities identified in the response phase
          • Form a new transition plan for stakeholders to transition to new company norms
          • Start making longer-term decisions
          • Define new areas for investment and sales
          • Review all existing contracts and agreements

The Board of Directors at this time should be united and support the CEO and staff, as well as review the entire existing business structure and begin to modernize it using the newfound knowledge and lessons learned.