How to Conduct Effective Board Meetings

Board meetings are a chance for board members to offer valuable input about the progress of a business. They can also be an occasion for board members to establish trust and build camaraderie.

To ensure that discussions are productive and effective decisions the board meeting must begin with clear communication of the meeting’s objective(s) prior to the time the board meets. Sending a package to the board that includes all the information needed for the discussion is one method to accomplish this.

Some boards use Robert’s Rules of Order as a guide to how they conduct their meetings. However, this book is not necessary for every board. In general, only the chair is responsible for making sure that invitations go out in time and notes are made, and all materials needed are provided to board members before the meeting.

One of the most common mistakes companies make is to not prepare and distribute their board documents on time. It is crucial to share the goals of the board meeting to all participants prior to the start of the board meeting so that directors are able to prepare and ask questions before the meeting. This will free up time during the meeting for discussion and enables you to keep the meeting as brief as possible. If you have one of your board members who insists on a lengthy report to be included in the agenda, then plan to make it to run for at least one hour prior to any break.

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