Is Decision Making in Board Meetings Broken?
Three More Board Members Perished Today.
It's Time to Ditch the Board Deck.
It’s been commonplace since the Magna Carta was drafted in 1215. The board deck kills people.
During the Middle Ages the board deck’s primary victims were the operators. CEOs, CFOs and their entire leadership teams dropped daily due to the lack of direction and wild inconsistencies they experienced while building their decks.
In 1380 Chaucer noted “We strived to be storytellers but we couldn’t do it. It was just report after report without a single key takeaway. That’s what killed our team. I’ve never imagined this kind of devastation.”
Interestingly, Chaucer’s despondency about the inappropriate length of their decks and the sheer meaninglessness of their presentations became the catalyst for him to write the Canterbury Tales just a few years later.
As time passed and the Middle Ages evolved into the Enlightenment, the board deck claimed even more victims.
This time it was the board members themselves going down. They couldn’t deal with getting a 50 or 60 page board deck the night before the board meeting yet still be expected to add value. They couldn’t go through the deck one page at a time during the live meeting without any real strategic discussions. They couldn’t stand the lack of engagement, the tedium, and the bad snacks.
In 1726 Isaac Newton, wrote to a fellow board member “Damn, this deck is the worst of ‘em all. We’re all going to die of boredom.”
Unfortunately, a year later Newton was right. He died in 1727. Like so many others, he succumbed to the board deck.
Interestingly, the colleague who received Newton’s prescient note was Thomas Jefferson. And, in one of history’s great mysteries…Jefferson hadn’t yet been born.
As decades passed, board prep and the board meeting improved very little, claiming more and more lives.
Some of history’s most notable human people were killed by the board deck. According to the Board of Boards, based just outside of Bern and one of the world’s most influential think tanks, Moses, Marco Polo, Marie Antoinette, Machiavelli, Marie de Medici, US Presidents Madison, Monroe and McKinley, Mark Twain, Mariyn Monroe and Seth Myers were all done in by the deck. And, those are just the M’s. Also, Seth Myers isn’t dead yet but, according to the BoB, when he dies it’ll be because of the board deck.
Why do we let this madness continue? Edward Jenner and Jonas Salk saved lives. Well, after having endured the same awful board process as so many other operators and directors, we felt an obligation to humanity to help stop the madness.
Yes, we feel we did some good work launching CrowdRise (now called GoFundMe for Charity) and helping to raise billions for great causes. And Moosejaw, the retailer we founded, probably did something good for the world. If nothing else, we had the best delivery truck ever.
But, solving the board deck is significantly more urgent.
This is why we started Zeck. Our goal is nothing short of saving the world. We hope you have the courage to join us on this journey.
Decent Humans of Zeck