A well-planned agenda for board meetings is the underlying element of productive meetings. But, it’s not the only thing that matters. The most important element is a motivated and prepared board of directors that is well-organized and motivated. A well-planned agenda for the board isn’t just a way to establish the structure for a meeting, it promotes discussion, acknowledges a variety of perspectives, and encourages creativity.
Whatever the agenda, a well-run meeting requires an experienced chairperson to lead it. Whether experienced or new, a good chairperson is able to keep the meeting on track, avoid discussions that diverge from the topic, and respect time constraints.
The chair of the board opens the meeting by calling to order and welcoming remarks. They then ask whether anyone has any suggestions for changes or additions they’d like to add to the agenda, and if there is sufficient majority. Then, they look over the minutes of the previous meeting and vote to approve them. Finally, they discuss and vote on any items for action.
To ensure that meetings don’t become too long, assign the appropriate amount of time for each agenda item. This allows for a productive discussion without being slowed down by unnecessary details. By giving board members time estimates for each item on the agenda, they can plan and schedule their agendas accordingly.
A good agenda for the board will include a section called “big picture” which enables board members to discuss the company’s vision and to share updates on the company’s performance. This section includes a place to include committee reports and also highlights any unfinished items from the previous meeting that should be addressed.