How to Write an Effective Board Meeting Agenda

A well-written agenda is necessary to a successful and productive board meeting. A strong agenda is a framework for discussion, decision-making, and allows everyone to leave the meeting with the same knowing what was discussed and agreed upon. An agenda that is well-organized for a meeting of the board can assist you in moving quickly between topics, avoid getting lost in details, and help make meetings more entertaining.

Begin with the most crucial items. Beginning with the most crucial items on your agenda will allow leadership to receive feedback and encourage discussion when the minds of attendees are fresh. This can also inspire your attendees to show up on time since they are aware that the most exciting conversations will start right away.

Review all of the reports presented by committees, board members and executives. It is important to follow up on any issues that might arise. It can also help prevent wasting meeting time reviewing old business issues that should have been dealt with by the various committees of the board.

Allocate enough time to strategic planning and discussions. This is crucial to the board’s ability to manage the organization effectively. Make sure you include the section for “old business” and “new business,” so that the board can review all relevant follow-ups and propose new strategies.

Often, lengthy reports and other routine tasks can slow the meeting down and distract board members from the most important issues at hand. The “parking lot agenda” or “consent schedule” could reduce the time spent on these issues.

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