Time with the board tends to be short, valuable and critical to the success of the compliance program. Getting and keeping their attention is essential. To do so effectively, Jason Meyer (LinkedIn), President of LeadGood Education recommends keeping in mind that board members share one thing in common with the rest of us: they want to know if what you’re telling them is truly relevant to them or a waste of their time.
To communicate effectively he recommends an audience-centric approach. That means avoiding compliance jargon and focusing on terms that they care about such as “fiduciary duty”, “Caremark decision”, “oversight” and “DOJ Guidelines”. And, of course, where appropriate, “stock exchange rules”. Remember, too, that they are focused on existential risks to the organization, not the routine, everyday ones.
Stay laser focused on what is in it for them and combine hard information – what their duty or a risk area is – with scenario-based examples.
Think, too, like a marketer: repetition matters. Stress and keep stressing what’s important, but put some sizzle behind it. Avoid the pitfalls of simply echoing what management is saying and being just one more presentation. Have a message of your own to demonstrate independence and underscore the importance of a direct compliance-board relationship.
Also, don’t forget the education part of the equation. Opportunities for them to be better educated are rare, and showing you have information they could use may be the best way to get their attention.
Listen in to learn more about how to get the most out of your time with the board.