Fri 05 Feb 2021

The 10 month long meeting

The Company Secretary is used to being a quiet observer during Board meetings and AGMs - taking note of discussions, guiding the agenda and recording the result of votes.  I think that my personality is suited to that role of discreet spectator

But, I miss Board meetings - there we go; I've said it!  I miss the arrival at the venue, the buzz of "hellos" to the gathered Directors, the quiet ushering in of a late-comer, making sure everyone has a coffee, re-iterating the Agenda, listening to the company's progress and planning, observing the personalities and behaviour, guiding the voting, and at the close of the meeting, knowing that I'll see the same characters again in the next quarter….

In the new world of on-line meetings, and the occasionally shaky wi-fi capacity, it's just not the same.  Everyone has adapted, but we all miss that physical connection. 

We have a work team group chat (on a well-known app), set up promptly following our retreat from the office to home in March 2020.  This, accompanied by weekly online team meetings and Friday night quizzes, have proven an invaluable way to keep in touch, to check in with each other, and to keep spirits up.  I find myself mostly assuming the observational role again here, but enjoy it almost as much as I do a "real" meeting. 

If I were taking minutes of our group chat, we'd have -

THE A TEAM:  Discussions commenced 18th March 2020

1. Attendees                    

Edinburgh, Glasgow, Fife, West Lothian, East Lothian, Berwick upon Tweed, even Bulgaria for a time;

2. Daily Meme                  

Everything from lockdown rules to presidential elections and home schooling;

3. The Great Outdoors     

Photos of daily walks, gardens changing as the seasons passed, river banks, hills, parks, beaches, even ornate Victorian cemeteries;

4. Art Education               

A guide through the original art collection of the office, and occasionally of home.  We've had landscapes, still life and the odd hen;

5. Music                          

From Bowie to Bach, our ears have been treated to some spirit-lifting music;

6. Pets                             

I'm sure on a vote, this would probably have all our hands in the air!  We have a Morton Fraser menagerie to be proud of!

7. Closure                        

We know that one day we'll all be back in the office again, having real life conversations.  But, if put to the vote, the Attendees may wish to also continue with this additional method of discussion.  As the (mostly) quiet observer, I can see how positive this 10 month long meeting has been.

If I can assist with your on-line Board meetings, please do get in touch.  I'd be happy to help, and even happier to see you in the Board room in person in the (hopefully) not too distant future.

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