How to Run the Perfect Board Meeting

Board meetings are an excellent opportunity to shape an organization and bring together the brainpower needed to navigate turbulent oceans as well as calmer waters. If done well they can fundamentally alter the direction of an organisation. But without a clear structure and discipline meetings can quickly turn into a failure and a hassle for everyone involved.

It’s crucial to establish the tone early by calling the meeting to order, and taking up any issues that are personal or of a purely formal nature. After ensuring that a quorum has been achieved then move on to the next item on the agenda and start the main discussion. This is typically where you’ll be discussing major organization updates, important forks in the road and strategies that will lead the business into future success.

If you’re worried about the length of your meetings, cut down on reports and other “have-to’s” by encouraging officers and committee chairs to share brief, bullet-point summary of the meeting. This will allow you to focus more time discussing strategic issues and your participants aren’t bored or distracted by lengthy discussions.

Make sure to send all relevant documents to your attendees before the meeting (committee and staff reports, Board packs, and any other documents that are contextual). This will cut down on time during the meeting and help attendees to prepare ahead of time. Begin the meeting by asking any clarifications or follow-up questions that come from the materials you’ve read. Then, jump straight into the most important discussions.

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