How to Have an Effective Board Meeting

A successful board meeting is an essential element of a good governance. The Board of Directors meets to discuss and decide on company-critical issues, and ensure that the company is moving in the right directions. Although it might seem overwhelming it is possible to follow a few basic guidelines that will ensure you’re having productive discussions and making the right decisions throughout your meetings.

It is essential to plan well in advance and distribute the agenda with everyone before the meeting. A clear agenda will define the main topics and allocate appropriate amounts of time for each discussion. This will prevent meetings from being a distraction, stagnant or becoming an exclusive forum for just a handful of people to speak instead of an inclusive dialogue that is shared by the whole Board.

Prioritize only two key questions to be addressed at every meeting. This is a common best practice that allows discussions to be focused and limit the number of items to be reviewed during the meeting. This allows more time to be spent on each issue, and a decision can be made instead of simply sharing updates. The board book permits an easy sharing of updates and a small amount of time can be allocated to them during the meeting.

It is important to communicate clearly the way decisions are made. This will ensure that all participants are on the same page and are aware of the process of making decisions. It also sets expectations regarding the kind of discussion that will be held at the meeting, which includes finding common ground, examining all viewpoints, or resolving disagreements by a vote.

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