How to Have an Effective Board Meeting

A successful board meeting is a foundational component of good governance, as it provides the opportunity to have a thoughtful discussion and make decisions that will move your business forward. Whether the meeting involves discussing goals for the future, discussing program successes and failures, or addressing important legal issues, it is essential to conduct a thorough and dynamic discussion. Meetings that are planned well with a detailed agenda and clear communication about the decision-making processes will be efficient and effective.

1. Make sure that the agenda for the meeting is communicated to all participants prior to the meeting and is easily accessible.

Nothing ruins a productive board meeting more than members who are in a rush to review crucial materials as they are being discussed or worse, having no access to the materials in advance of the meeting. This can be avoided by distributing the agenda as well as all the necessary materials at three to four days in advance of the meeting.

2. Start the meeting on schedule.

It is important to start the board meeting at the right time. Board members will be more energized if they arrive prepared. This can be achieved by ensuring that all relevant materials are included in the agenda, as well as by limit the number of discussion topics to those that are essential to the meeting. It can also be beneficial to organize the meeting outside of the boardroom, for instance at a program site or breakfast gatherings, which can provide an opportunity to change the scenery and encourage new ideas and discussions.