A board meeting is a very important procedure, at least in theory, because most meetings go unproductive due to frequent mistakes and confusing processes. If you want to change that, this article is just for you. The success of a meeting depends on many nuances, cooperation, actions, and clear order. The best way to build your session around these basics is to know the rules of running a board meeting. Below we’ll highlight a few tips to help you make your meeting productive.
Keep your colleagues informed
It’s very important to inform your board members about the upcoming meeting in advance because you’ll ensure that everyone will come prepared, research, and bring the right documents. To do this, make a proper schedule, it should include:
- Date, time, and location of the meeting
- Set an appropriate timeframe for the meeting
- Clearly define the type of meeting: whether it is an ordinary meeting or an emergency meeting and, if so, who called it and for what reason
- A complete packet of documents to be read before the meeting
- Priority items for discussion
- Waiver of notice
Board members must send a waiver of invitation to the meeting if they know they won’t be there. This way, the director can know exactly how many people will attend and whether a quorum will eventually be reached.
Find an approach for each board member
Today’s board members have diverse ages, genders, and ethnic minorities. Each of them will think and communicate differently, so to build a strong and trusting relationship, the board chair needs to learn how to share with each of them “on the same page.” You can develop several ways to communicate, e.g., set aside time for feedback, ask someone to give feedback, but be mindful of the time frame for each participant to speak.
Protocols and Task Management
A system of minutes and next steps are the main tools that help you make a strategic plan of action. Minutes contain the most important information about previous meetings, questions, concerns, and board recommendations. In addition, it is important to learn how to turn minutes into actionable tasks and assign responsibilities and deadlines.
Don’t waste time.
You don’t need to waste time reading reports out loud. Rather, form summaries and start discussions. Allocate time for debate. This is also one important part of the meeting that makes it easier to decide.
The point of a plan is to make sure that board members know every item on it and what comes after what. That is so that the meeting process goes strictly according to plan. If people are caught off guard, they get confused, so that the meeting time will be significantly delayed. Plus, it would be disrespectful to people and their time.
Evaluate meetings once a year
To improve the effectiveness of your meetings, it is sometimes a good idea to look back at the meeting process and learn from it what needs to be changed or added to make the process more productive. It’s important to take feedback from board members into consideration as well.
General steps for conducting a board of directors
Many boards of directors focus on Robert’s Rules of Order at their meetings, which is a very effective basic structure. It builds from:
- Review of previous meeting minutes
- Assessment of necessary reports and committee findings
- Discussion of priority materials
- Discussion of items unfinished at the previous meeting
- Other items on the meeting agenda
- New business
The chairperson should regulate the entire process. Allocate time for each participant to speak, be time oriented, and announce if any issues need to be moved to the next meeting.