The Board Meeting Process

A well-organized board meeting system helps ensure that meetings run smoothly and that all topics for discussion are covered and that the board can make informed decisions. To allow a board session to be effective and dynamic attendees should feel that their time and expertise is valued and that they are actively involved in discussions. A few simple steps can help to achieve this, from establishing clearly defined agendas prior to meetings to making sure that the chairperson encourages participation from all members and uses techniques that promote respectful debate.

The first step in conducting a successful board meeting is preparing a comprehensive board agenda that clearly lists the old business that needs to be reviewed, new business up for discussion and the committees that will report. This will stop the meeting from going over time and provide directors with an opportunity to plan ahead, by reading reports and attending any mandatory pre-meetings.

It is vital that board members are provided with a clear board pack well before the meeting in order for them to take in reports and outcomes and review minutes from prior meetings and prepare for the upcoming meeting. This will help the chairman avoid having to spend valuable meeting time updating all attendees on the contents of the packet and will also enable the chairman to refocus the board discussion on important and pertinent issues.

The ability to keep the board meeting lively is vital and can be achieved by introducing the meeting with a positive tale, providing an opportunity for fresh ideas to be discussed or by changing the venue from an office space to a conference site. It is also helpful to schedule regular breaks and refreshments to keep the participants focused.


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