A well-organized board meeting is an essential component of successful governance. It is where the Board of Directors comes together to discuss and resolve company-critical issues, and ensure that the company is moving in the right direction. It can be difficult, but there are some easy guidelines to follow that will enable you to conduct productive meetings and make informed decisions.
It is crucial to prepare well in advance and share the agenda with all members prior to the meeting. An organized agenda will outline key topics to be discussed and set a reasonable amount of time for each discussion. This helps to prevent meetings from getting off-topic, becoming a slog in repetition or turning into an event where only the few who can contribute to an inclusive dialogue among the whole Board.
Prioritize two key issues that must be addressed at each meeting. This is a common best practice that allows discussions to be focused and limit the amount of items that need to be reviewed during the meeting. This allows for more time to be devoted on each issue and the possibility of making a decision, as opposed to just sharing updates. The book for the board allows simple sharing of updates and a small amount of time can be devoted to them during the meeting.
Make clear the manner in which decisions will be made. This will ensure that all members are on the same page and can comprehend the decision-making process. It also sets expectations regarding 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 process.