The agenda of each meeting should be well-defined. It will ensure that every discussion reaches its goal and prevents getting lost in the details. It is more than just the appropriate format to organize a strategic board meeting. Board members also need to be prepared for the meeting, and be ready to participate in productive discussions.

Reading the board materials before the meeting is among the best things a board member could do to ensure the success of the event. This way they can become familiar with the content and know what they’d like to discuss during the meeting. This is a great way to increase participation by allowing everyone’s individual perspective to be incorporated into the discussion.

Another important aspect to consider when the preparation for a productive strategic board meeting is to focus on the content, and not the structure. Board meetings should be time-efficient and focused, therefore it is crucial to arrange topics logically, starting with those that are most important and urgent. Then move on to those that build upon those. Don’t forget to reserve a section of the meeting for new business. This is a great opportunity for board members to engage in generative discussions which will help propel the organization forward.

In recent years Boards have been requested to take on more hands-on tasks. This can result in meetings taking longer than they should and drifting off from the topic. To avoid this, make sure to keep the information on a board dashboard on the strategic level.