The Statement …
Our Board no longer has face to face Board Meetings, and we are now meeting remotely online. This is a trend that is likely to continue for the foreseeable future.
We have a new subsidiary start-up and as part of the development to launch, we have to select a foreign law firm to represent and support us through the serious legal regulatory, business, and market penetration challenges, we know lie ahead, in correctly positioning this new business for success. Whilst we have short listed prospective firms, by sending an executive team to the USA, most of the Board resides locally, with USA Directors. The Board evaluation must be done locally and cost effectively.
How do we best undertake this important and key Board evaluation of the final two firms, ensuring that we properly evaluate and select the best choice?
The Challenge …
In discussing this with our client Board Chairman and the Chief Executive Officer, it soon became apparent, that:
- a structured evaluation and focused decision-making process and methodology was not available for the Board, and
- prior similar decisions had relied on local relationships and informality, further
- as this was a start-up, and in common with many such, there was not the required strategic business clarity to provide a singularly focused structured evaluation and focused decision-making process to aid and support the Board in a successful selection outcome.
Given their online “Board Mode”, and after discussion with the Chairman and the Chief Executive, we suggested that our client Board request was refined into:
- define and agree the Strategic Objective Statement relevant to the new start-up business, that would be suitable for providing the correct strategy and business focus, and to developing the aligned methodology and process, to support the evaluation of the final two short listed USA legal firms.
- based on the Strategic Objective Statement and the start-up’s “development to launch business plans”, identify the appropriate:
- Legal Areas of Focus for the two law firms to present back to the Board.
- Legal Questions within each Area of Focus, which the two law firms would be required to address within their presentation back to the Board. Similarly, these identical requirements would comprise the Boards’ Evaluation Questions, with which they would be provided within our framework, to assist them in conducting their structured Board Evaluation and Decision making.
- Develop the appropriate online “Meeting” Evaluation Models, incorporating the Boards’ Evaluation Questions.
- Recommend a structured matrix measurement framework, with which to assess the presentations from each of the two law firms.
- Develop the back-end reporting model, that would take the results of the Boards’ two online Evaluations and provide the Board with a professional comparison and detailed reporting, based on the their respective assessments, to assist them in their final debates and choice of legal firm.
The Solution …
GRC Consulting utilises the latest leading edge, collaborative, real-time meeting technology to facilitate its Electronic Meetings.
For this scenario, we deployed our Web Hosted Meeting option together with the development of a detailed reporting back end template, that would provide both remote, online, real-time or any-time encrypted and highly secure access, that is configurable, incorporating:
- “secure encrypted url meeting access links” for distribution to Directors through the Meeting Chat system utilised by the Board,
- “Named Access” requiring First name + Surname logon access, together with,
- “E-mail” entry logon access for respective directors,
- “Configurable Meeting Access Code” entry logon access.
In line with the above suggestions that were approved by the Board:
- we defined and agreed the start-ups Strategic Objective Statement, to provide the correct strategy and business focus, and to developing the aligned methodology and process, to support the evaluation of the final two short listed USA legal firms.
2. based on the Strategic Objective Statement and the start-up’s “development to launch business plans”, we identified the appropriate:
- Legal Areas of Focus for the two law firms to present back to the Board.
- Legal Questions within each Area of Focus, which the two law firms would be required to address within their presentation back to the Board.
3. we developed the aligned overview evaluation methodology and process, to support the Board’s evaluation of the final two short listed USA legal firms.
4. we developed the appropriate online “Meeting” Evaluation Models, incorporating the Boards’ Evaluation Questions, for the structured evaluation of each law firm, incorporating the Legal Areas of Focus and associated Legal Questions.
5. we recommended a structured matrix measurement framework, with which to assess the presentations from each of the two law firms.
6. we worked with the Chief Executive and the Board’s Company Secretary to formalise the respective “Guidance and Instruction” documentation suitable to:
- instruct the two Law Firms on their presentation and documentation delivery requirements, including the Webex Call details and timetable to the Boards online meeting.
- provide the necessary background and understanding of the process, details and requirements of the Directors, including guidance on the access requirements within the Board Webex call, and the forthcoming use of the GRC Consulting system and framework methodology, including the information necessary for the evaluation of the two law firms.
7. We developed the back-end reporting model, to provide the Board with a professional comparison and detailed reporting, based on their respective assessments, to assist them in their final debates and choice of legal firm.
Summary Side by Side Reporting for High-level Comparison:
Detailed Reporting by Individual Law Firm – By Overall Summary and then by individual Legal Category:
The Benefits …
- We were able to incorporate appropriate structure and sound methodology with a simple and clearly defined Board process into the Board of Directors finalisation of selection between their shortlisted Law Firms, that was highly efficient and effective, that did not cause the Directors any technology or other discomfort and was highly secure, exceeding all the Corporations requirements for security and logon access.
- By ensuring at the outset that everything was oriented towards the new startups’ Strategic Objective Statement, we designed and developed for long term success, in alignment with the strategic aspirations of the startup and its Board.
- By ensuring structure and uniformity in the methodology and approach, we ensured that both Law Firms started and delivered from a uniform start point. This was mirrored by similarly providing the Board of Directors with the same structure and tools by which to evaluate the two Law Firms, which ensured simplicity and ease of rating respective Law Firm presentations.
- By recommending a two axes structured matrix measurement framework, we aligned the Board outcomes to:
- Strategic Objective Alignment
- Effectiveness, of Delivery of the Law Firm
Which then made the downstream reporting, simple and clear and capable of one to one comparison, thus facilitating and supporting the Boards final deliberation and selection of their chosen legal services provider.
- We ensured that the system and process met all of the local legal and corporate governance requirements, including access, process and outcome audit trails, together with a soft copy for historical records, in addition to exceeding the Board’s expectations, time, cost and compliance requirements.
- We were able, in real-time, to transparently provide the results of Directors actions.
- We saved the Board a significant amount of valuable Director time and organisational costs.
- We were, through our professional expertise and knowledge, able to structure and create a technology solution with a clearly defined and structured process, which enhanced the Board of Directors performance, that was highly efficient, hugely cost effective and produced a superior outcome for the Board.
- The process itself is highly participative and collaborative, which resulted in a high level of Director engagement and contribution and therefore a higher level of Director understanding and support for the final outcome.
They were delighted with the outcome and have retained and expanded our services to broader Board Meeting and other assistance, particularly electronic facilitation.
Why we do what we do …
Everything we do at GRC Consulting, we believe in Challenging the Status Quo and Achieving Simplicity to directly benefit you.
We believe in thinking differently and working with you in Partnership to solve your greatest challenges for long term benefit.
The way we challenge the status quo is by making Tailor-made solutions meet your specific requirements, and
Delivering our Solutions to you in beautiful simplicity.
Simple to understand, Simple to implement and Simple to use.
We are Boardroom Leadership Governance, Risk and Compliance Experts.
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