How to Have an Effective Board Meeting

An effective board meeting is an essential component of successful governance. It’s where the Board of Directors comes together to discuss and decide on company-critical issues, making sure that the organisation is moving in the right direction. While it may seem daunting, there are a few easy guidelines to ensure you are having productive discussions and making the right decisions throughout your meetings.

It is important to prepare well in advance and share the agenda with all attendees prior to the meeting. An agenda that is clear will outline the most important topics and allocate appropriate amounts of time to each discussion. This will stop meetings from getting off-topic, becoming stagnant or turning into an exclusive gathering for a handful of people to speak instead of an open dialogue that is shared by the entire Board.

Prioritize two key issues that must be addressed at every meeting. This is a standard practice that helps to focus discussions and limit the number of items that can be discussed during the meeting. This allows for more time to spend on each topic and the decision to be made, as opposed to just sharing updates. The board book permits easy sharing of updates and a small amount of time can be allocated to them during the meeting.

Make clear the manner in which decisions will be made. This will ensure that all participants are on the same page, and that they are all aware of the process of making decisions. It also sets expectations about the kind of discussion that will be held during the meeting, which includes finding common ground, examining all viewpoints, or resolving disagreements through a vote.

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