A board meeting is the opportunity to discuss crucial business issues with a number of experts. They provide a variety of perspectives, which is essential when deciding large-scale strategies or defining how teams will work towards these strategies.

However, the success of a board meeting is contingent on the way that leadership directs discussions and stays on the right track. No matter how energetic or thorough the agenda, when discussions diverge from the topic and run over-time, meetings aren’t effective. Furthermore, if crucial documents aren’t made available to attendees prior to the meeting, it may be difficult for attendees to prepare and take part.

To maximize the value of board meetings, start every meeting with a 10 minute recap of the key aspects of the previous pre-meetings, as well as the board’s package. This will help to keep the board’s mind clear of members and keep them focused on the topic that is in front of them.

Being distracted by new topics of discussion can eat up precious time during meetings, and distract board members away from the more urgent agenda items. Include a parking lot item on the agenda to allow random discussions that may need further review but are not considered to be a top priority.

After the agenda has been set It’s important to listen to reports from the executive director and any standing or committee reports. You may also ask someone to listen to the financial reports if you’re looking to discuss them in depth. After the discussion is finished the chair should open the floor for a discussion on each item. If a motion is made and approved, it must be „seconded“ by another member prior to being put up to vote.

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