How to Conduct an Effective Board Meeting

A board meeting that is productive allows the organization to move forward with informed decisions. To do this, board members should collaborate to prepare for meetings. They should review documents and reports, provide feedback, and respond to questions. They should also engage in careful discussion and analysis of strategic issues, including an in-depth review of current strategies and a plan for future direction.

A well-run board meeting starts with a clear agenda. This should be delivered to the participants prior to the meeting, and include everything that is to be discussed (e.g. the board packet, past minutes, proposed policies, committee reports). These materials will help participants to prepare for the meeting. They also reduce time during the meeting because they won’t have to search for details.

After the board has reviewed, discussed and acted on the reports and information, it is time to take decisions. This is where the power of the board is. During this portion of the meeting, the board must consider and agree on specific actions to take to achieve the company’s goals. The chair must also call a rolling call to confirm a quorum and ensure that all board members are present during the discussion.

It is beneficial that the board includes experts from the organization during the decision-making process. For instance, having someone from the engineering department give an update on the latest product, or having a sales leader present a recent victory can bring fresh perspective and stimulate productive discussions. It’s also a great idea to invite speakers from outside to give the board additional insight into relevant topics.