A board meeting offers an opportunity to discuss key business issues with a number of experts. They offer diverse perspectives, which is vital when deciding on large-scale strategies and defining the ways in which teams work toward the goals.
The effectiveness of a gathering is dependent on the manner the leader keeps discussions on topic and directs them in the right direction. Whatever how stimulating or comprehensive the agenda, if discussions go off-topic and run over-time, meetings will be ineffective. Additionally, if important documents are not handed out to the attendees prior to the meeting, it will be difficult for them to prepare and participate.
To maximize the value of board meetings, start every meeting with a 10 minute recap that repeats key points of previous pre-meetings and the board package. This will help clear the board members their minds and keep them focused.
Being distracted by new topics for discussion can eat up precious meeting time and distract board members from more important agenda items. Include a parking lot topic on the agenda to allow random discussions that require further study but are not an immediate priority.
After the agenda has been set it’s essential to hear reports from the executive director as well as any committee or standing reports. It’s also a good idea to have someone read financial reports, but only if they need further discussion. After the discussion is finished, the chair should open the room for a vote on each item. If a motion is introduced, it should be “seconded” by another member prior to being called to vote.