How to Have a Great Board Meeting

A successful board meeting offers an opportunity for discussions about important business issues and decisions, and also establishing company policies. Getting the most benefit from every board meeting requires careful planning ahead of time and managing expectations about how much discussion is actually possible, and being consistent with the agenda.

The best method to avoid boring meetings is to establish the actual goals for your meeting and then refer to them regularly to ensure that the meeting is on the right track. If you are absorbed in reports or technicalities that could have been reviewed prior you lose the chance to have your board members discuss business issues that cannot be addressed by the management team on its own.

Consider setting up a consent agenda to items that do not require discussion (like minutes or financial reports) to save time during the meeting. This will allow board members to quickly approve documents and reports that don’t require discussion.

Distribute board packs 3 to 4 days prior to the meeting so that attendees can read them in advance of the meeting. This reduces the amount of time in the meeting reading reports and gives attendees a chance to ask questions before they become more complex.

Include a “parking lot” at the end of the board packet in order that items that are not relevant to the meeting can be put off to a later meeting and not interfere with the most important agenda items. This will also help minimize the possibility that the most important agenda items are moved further into the meeting and may not get discussed in any way.