How You Open a Board Meeting

The way you start the meeting of a board can be a chance to set the tone. The best method to achieve this is by clearly stating the purpose of the meeting and setting precise agenda goals with time limitations. This will ensure that the board meets its goals at every meeting and also avoids spending time on non-critical issues.

To get the most value from every minute, begin the meeting at the right time. To accomplish this, prioritize the key issues to be discussed and make sure that all participants have the background materials they require. Distribute an agenda that contains all the necessary documents and other information, including minutes from previous meetings, financial reports, updates on projects, presentations by committees and proposals.

The discussion should be focused on issues of high importance which are in line with the strategic plan, and that control risk. Limit the time spent reading lengthy reports and routine business to a quarter of the meeting. The remaining time can be used for strategy discussions. To help with this, board members can be urged to share short bullet points that cover what they need to know instead of reading long reports.

Discuss the organization’s progress since the last meeting. Include important milestones and areas that require improvement. The board will then decide whether to implement strategies to increase growth and overcome challenges. This portion of the board meeting is also an ideal time to review the upcoming elections for board members as well as offer any necessary orientation and training for new members.

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