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Love and the Finite Brain

Love and the way it relates to some of the most overlooked pain points of the board process.

Love and the Finite Brain

Reading this post may end up being a waste of your time.  And, if you believe the brain is finite, you may want to stop reading right now.  

Why?  Because I’m writing about love and the way it relates to some of the most overlooked pain points of the board process. 

“The greatest happiness of life is the conviction that we are loved; loved for ourselves, or rather, loved in spite of ourselves.” -  Victor Hugo

So, how does love intersect with the small annoyances that everyone has to deal with when drafting and reading their board materials?

Well, if you think deeply about Hugo’s quote and perhaps your own experiences with love, you’ll come to the conclusion that it doesn’t relate at all.  In fact, I think it’s fair to say that love may have less to do with the board process than anything else in the world.  And, no chance anyone understands that Victor Hugo quote.

So, perhaps we should move on. 

Annoyance #1
Let’s start with something pretty simple. Prior to Zeck, when I did my pre-read to prepare for a board meeting I took all my Notes based on page number.  Let’s pretend I received the board deck on a Monday for a Friday meeting.  My Notes may look something like this.

Page 27
Looks like CAC is significantly higher than last quarter but still below plan.  How does LTV:CAC look?

Page 61
Are we sure we can afford to make all these hires?  If sales and margin aren’t crushing it, can we adjust our Q3 and/or Q4 hiring plans?

Here’s the problem…by the time we got to the live meeting on Friday, page 27 is now page 31 and page 61 is now page 62.  So, all my Notes are messed up.

Zeck has no page numbers. So, there are no page numbers to mess up.  Your Private Notes just follow the content regardless of the changes that are inevitably made to the board materials between the time they’re sent out and the time of the live meeting.  Awesome, right?

Annoyance #2
If Garbage Day is on a Monday and you start thinking about it the Thursday or Friday before, when Monday comes around you want to get the Garbage out and be done with it.  So, perhaps you get it all done around 2.  Only to have a neighbor knock on your door telling you that you’re not allowed to put your Garbage out until 4.  The worst.

Annoyance #3
This is slightly related to annoyance number #1.  Please strike either the word ‘number’ or the ‘#’ from the prior sentence.  

The current tools make it nearly impossible for your board members to add Comments to your board content prior to your meeting. That’s because you can never be sure who can read your Comment.  So, the likelihood anyone is going to add a note saying “the CMO included all the wrong data”, for example, is pretty low.  Even positive feedback or helpful questions like “can we see that report through for the quarter and for YTD?” aren’t usually a part of the back and forth process because the system for sharing board materials is outdated and not remotely interactive.

This makes it nearly impossible for board members to engage with your board content prior to your live meeting. Bad for you and bad for your board. The result is that you’re not able to prepare as well for the live meeting, you’re never positive what your board actually cares about, you’re not optimizing your agenda to focus on what matters most, and your board meeting probably turns into a boring presentation that everyone dreads. After being in lots of board meetings, I don’t think there’s much hyperbole here either. 

Zeck solves everything by adding a simple Comment button as part of each section in your board site, along with a feature that says Who Can See This with a list of everyone who has access to the section you’re reading.  So, now there’s an easy way to give feedback to the CEO, exec team and other board members. 

The Zeck Commenting system 1). Allows for deep engagement prior to the board meeting 2). Better prepares everyone for the live meeting 3). Gives the operating team far better insight into what the board cares about 4). Gives a voice to board members who aren’t usually so vocal during the live meeting and 5). There is no number five.  

Annoyance #4
“Did we sign the board Minutes from the last board meeting”?  No need to answer that.  Dealing with your Minutes should just be way easier.  Dare I say…even automated?  

At Moosejaw and CrowdRise I was pretty terrible at process. I focused on the content and paid little attention to governance.  I had no idea how to deal with our Minutes and I certainly couldn’t find ‘em later.  The board decks were one place, the minutes another, and actually, who knows where they all were.  Guessing you understand this challenge entirely.

Again, Zeck solves everything.  

With Zeck, governance is automated, digitized and your board materials are all stored securely in the Zeck Data Room.  The way we automate everything is simple – the system knows your agenda, attendance, votes, etc.  It knows it because you get our Smart Agenda Builder and Digitized Voting features as part of every board Zeck you create.  So, based on your actual data, Zeck auto-generates your Board Minutes.  You can edit ‘em any way you see fit.  When you’re done, you simply e-sign them and share with your board members for approval.  Finally, the approved Minutes and Final Board Zeck are stored in your secure Zeck Data Room. Everything in one place for easy access when you need them later (and you will).  Truly digitized governance. So so easy. 

I was going to add a fifth annoyance that focused on the idea that Zeck solves all of your formatting and consistency challenges.  But, this is already way too long so we’ll leave it as is.  

One final note just to tie everything together…the best way to make sure your marshmallow is perfect is to slow roast it near the coals instead of on the open flame.  And please take your time.  The perfect s’more is an art.  

Decent Humans of Zeck

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