ALL DAY my husband listened to the official certification process of the US 2020 presidential election results and he was captivated.
I know. Weird, right? For me, yes. For him, no. He loves the process. Every tiny detail.
And that’s a good thing when you’re a meetings advisor and chairperson. After working with committees and organisations for over 30 years on their meetings, he has seen the consequences of not being precise. He is often called in afterwards to ‘get the house in order’.
The fallout from an incorrect meeting procedure may not be apparent at the time. Cleaning up a procedural mess afterwards so that compliance and governance are adhered to takes much longer.
In a nutshell, corporate governance is…
“Doing the right thing, at the right time, in the right way.”
To put this into context, let’s use the Congress’ certification process as a mirror to your organization’s formal meetings.
Vice President Pence, who was chairing the joint sitting of the Congress, had in front of him a script for every part of the process. As there are 50 states, there were 50 statements that were identical except for the name of the state. He read every single one of them…..exactly as required.
The accomplishment of the official certification process is as robust as the governing rituals and rules.
Every time something happened that was procedurally different, a clerk handed him a piece of paper with the exact words he needed to say. He read the words on the paper to the letter.
It’s just as important in any precise meeting, like annual general meetings for instance, for things to be done properly according to correct corporate governance and or the bylaws. And the best way to ensure this happens is to write out a script.
When David advises a person running an important meeting, he writes what is called the “chairman’s script”. It’s not unlike a run sheet. It includes the actual words the person chairing the meeting should say, to make sure things are done properly.
And because you’ve done things properly any queries or challenges you may receive later will hold up to scrutiny.
In meetings where the process has to be perfect, David’s the guy who passes you the piece of paper with the exact words you need to say. Along with the correct meeting procedure rules being followed, the organisation’s constitution is also adhered to.
This means what is said ticks all the governance and compliance boxes.
This matters because doing the right thing, at the right time, in the right way, means you won’t suffer the uncomfortable pain of procedural headaches from the fallout.
This not only equates to getting better results from your meetings, but it will also protect your organization from possible challenges.
This is also true for Annual General Meetings. They’re clearly not at the level of detail and complexity the US Congress needs. But nevertheless, there are ways to do things correctly. It’s very easy to inadvertently do something incorrectly, and be facing a challenge about validity at a future time.
And that’s the last thing anyone wants.
David Julian Price - Meetings Man, Constitution Whisperer, Speaking Coach, Impartial Facilitator and Chairperson
SMART tips and strategies to manage purposeful meetings that respect everyone’s time.