How to Run Better Board Meetings

In the event that they serve as a strategic decision-making platform or a framework for governance the board meetings are essential to the success of any organisation. But even though they’re important, the effectiveness of board meetings is usually limited by the manner in which they’re managed.

A strategic outlook is necessary to ensure a successful board meeting. This will ensure that each meeting is a positive one and will lead to productive discussions. A dynamic agenda that sets the agenda for important topics and gives sufficient time for each item of discussion is a good place to begin.

Aside from setting clear objectives and establishing clear goals, it is equally important to ensure that all board members are provided with the appropriate materials for their board and are prepared before the meeting. This makes board meetings more productive. In the end, preparing accurate and concise minutes that record discussions and decision-making while including action points with time frames are vital elements to successful board meetings.

Limiting the time devoted to reports and “have to’s” will allow for more meaningful and productive discussion time. A good rule of thumb is to devote less than 25 percent of your meeting on routine and reporting items.

Getting sidetracked by new topics of discussion that don’t have any direct impact on company goals can waste the valuable time of the board and cut into the time available for strategic thinking and planning. To mitigate this some boards have an area for parking at the end of the agenda, to move any items that aren’t considered priority into subsequent meetings.

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