Using a Board Meeting Schedule to Maximize Your Time Together

A board meeting agenda is an aid to keep your meetings on track and productive. When it comes to maximising the time that your board members spend together, substance is more important than fashion.

Start your meeting by giving an official call to order and then an introduction by the facilitator or chair of the board. The next step is to adopt the minutes from the previous meeting or the financial report. You could also review committee updates or other administrative tasks. It’s a good idea then, to reserve some time to discuss strategic planning or other governance issues. It could also be beneficial to include an executive session for sensitive or confidential topics if that is permitted by the organization’s bylaws as well as applicable laws.

Throughout the meeting, make sure to pay attention attentively to every item. You should raise any concerns or questions you may have about the presentation and allow your fellow board members to respond. Be careful not to get off track and talk about topics that aren’t part of the agenda. This could waste valuable meeting time, and distract the attention away from the most important topics on your board’s agenda. You can prevent this from happening by adding a “parking area” item at the end of your agenda. This will allow you to push random topics to later.

Lastly, make sure to send your board members the agenda at least a week prior to your actual meeting. This will give everyone ample time to study and prepare for the meeting. It’s also a good idea to include the meeting agenda with any supporting documents that board members will require to fully comprehend the subject in question.