A Well-Connected Board

Internet: Information highway provides an efficient communications vehicle.

Addison Ching

Your CEDPA Board is well connected!

Much of the Association's business that is conducted by the Board of Directors is conducted via the Internet. We've found that using electronic mail is one of the most efficient ways of getting requests fulfilled, action items completed, questions answered, and disseminating the same information to many individuals with a minimum of effort.

Ken Jones really started the ball rolling. He "broadcast" his understanding of the Board's business and action items to be completed the day following the first board meeting he presided over. Since that time, telephone calls and the attendant "telephone tag" between board members have been kept to a minimum but at the same time the efficiency of conducting board business has increased substantially. Why is this?

Your board is spread throughout the state and meets approximately once a month to conduct association business. Often issues that are raised and questions that need responding to aren't resolved until the following meeting. Sometimes these issues are time-sensitive and need to be resolved in a shorter time frame. Telephone calls are effective only if the person you're calling is available to take your call when you make that call; call-back slips may be responded to hours or even days later, and it's sometimes difficult to recall that exact thought or idea you had in mind when you made the original call. With electronic mail, you're able to document your thought or idea immediately and send your document to the intended receiver or receivers at the click of a button. The receiving party also has documentation of your exact thought and idea and can react or respond to it immediately after reading your original message when that respone is fresh in his/her mind. Ideas or concepts don't get lost or forgotten; thoughts and ideas can be captured and responded to in "real time" but at the convenience of the reader.

As editor of your newsletter, it's important for me to inform board members what articles they are scheduled to contribute and when they need to have their articles completed and submitted. The Internet has been a great vehicle to communicate this information to them. In addition, most, if not all, articles that have been submitted for publication by your board members this past year have come to me via the Internet.

Your board also uses the Internet to assist with conference planning. Main speaker, breakout session, and vendor information has traversed the Internet on many occasions during the past months. In addition, CEDPA board members have a CEDPA FTP server available to them which contains vital conference planning information such as a constantly-updated file containing the most current information about who's exhibiting, whether they've paid, their booth assignment, and if they're contributing any "extras" such as door prizes or other giveaways.

It may even get to the point where the majority of board business can be conducted electronically, thus minimizing the frequency of our in-person meetings and the amount of paperwork that gets distributed to the board in the normal conduct of business.

A prime example of technology leadership, I believe, is exhibited by Technologists who actually use technology to accomplish their business objectives and meet their goals. Your well-connected board is such an example of how technology can be and is used to conduct association business in an efficient and effective manner.