A successful board meeting requires a certain level of intentionality. From putting the meeting to order, to apologizing when the time is over the deliberateness can make a significant difference. If attendees feel that their time and expertise is valued, the more involved they will be with the outcome of each meeting. Here are some helpful tips to help you get there.
Start the meeting at Time
Avoid overbooking your board meetings, particularly when you’re having a meeting in person. It’s not ideal for attendees to feel rushed or as if they’re just wasting their time. It is also helpful to let your attendees review the board pack and other materials prior to the meeting – whether it’s a complete board deck, or an easier Memo/Notion form.
Follow the Agenda
A strong structure is the best way to ensure the board meeting is productive. This means not adding new agenda items in advance, requiring attendees to read the materials prior to the meeting, and setting expectations for each agenda item based on the length of time it is expected to be discussed. This will help keep the board meeting focussed and will prevent any tangents.
Ensure that each agenda item has a final objective that is clearly defined – is it to obtain information, reach consensus or arrive at a decision? This will keep the board meeting productive by preventing the board from getting distracted and allows you to concentrate on the most important issues. Also, making sure that you distribute the minutes of the board within 24 hours of each meeting will reinforce the decisions taken and ensure that actions are taken swiftly and effectively.