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Global Governance Advisors

Robert's Rules of Order Meets the Digital Boardroom

Posted by Linaeya Horn-Muller on Aug 20, 2018 10:00:00 AM
Linaeya Horn-Muller
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Picture this: an annual general meeting with no agenda. There’s no board chair or other administrator present to facilitate the meeting. What happens next? Can the board members stay organized, efficient and effectively discuss every necessary item? No, they can't.

The inability to have successful meetings with no set procedures led to the creation of Robert’s Rules of Order. Simply put, Robert’s Rules of Order is just another term for parliamentary procedure. It’s a widely accepted standard for conducting meetings and efficiently making decisions.


Robert’s Rules of Order was created by Henry Martyn Robert in 1876. Henry worked as a field engineer for the United States Army and was apart of creating the defenses of Washington and Philadelphia during the Civil War. In the early 1890s, Henry was asked to chair a town meeting. His first attempt to chair, with no set procedure and only a minimal understanding of parliamentary procedure, left him unsatisfied by his performance.

Due to his sub-par performance, Henry set out to design a “treasure map” to the most fair and objective board meetings. The rules outline meeting procedures so that attendees don’t waste their time engaging in a debate on what the rules are or should be. They give minority opinions the chance to take the driver seat and be heard during decision-making.

emPower Digital Boardroom

Now picture this: binders of confidential materials are prepared. The cost, the time and the materials themselves go against your organization's attempt to reduce its carbon footprint. Some boards skirt this issue and send their documents via email (a huge security risk). Boards do not have a system of peer evaluations to improve board performance. Companies construct compensation plans based on no data except their own plans. Communication with stakeholders is unstructured and the board is often in the dark about stakeholder activity until…

Global Governance Advisors (GGA), a leading North American Human Capital Management firm, works directly with boards of directors and senior management to maximize the Board’s impact on the success of the organization. Our Advisory Partners work with Boards every day on issues including governance, compensation plans that deliver the outcomes that align with company goals, and improved oversight of stakeholder engagement activity. So, it made sense for GGA to design the first comprehensive digital boardroom because traditional board software just does not cut it - only addressing a small percentage of these challenges.

The emPower Digital Boardroom platform revolutionizes how boards of directors incorporate Robert’s Rules of Order as they prepare for and conduct board meetings and evaluate member performance. emPower integrates timed/scrolling agenda, speaker/motion requests, board evaluations, scorecards, and broadcast TV quality streaming video.

Beyond the board meeting, the emPower Digital Boardroom platform provides peer compensation data and scorecards to develop effective senior management incentive plans and improves oversight of stakeholder engagement activity. It is a game changer for Boards of Directors. Organizations who adopt this technology have a decided competitive advantage

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Topics: GGA, Robert's Rules of Order, Digital Boardroom