Board meetings are where an organizationâ€™s future direction is decided, but too many organizations struggle with running effective meetings. Directors, management, and the board chair all need to be on the same page to run an effective board meeting. If youâ€™re dissatisfied with the way board meetings are run at your organization, there are five methods that can get you back on track.
#1 Stick To The Agenda
Itâ€™s the simplest method to commit to and the hardest to practice when youâ€™re in a meeting. Sticking to your agenda and staying on time, punctually starting and finishing when youâ€™ve agreed to, can be difficult when discussions go on longer than you planned. You want to consider every angle of the issue and let the conversation happen, but then you find youâ€™ve gone over time and havenâ€™t even begun to cover other important topics. When management gets board documents out earlier and a platform, like the Aprio board portal, that allows directors to discuss materials before meetings, you can stay on time.
#2 Assume Directors Have Done The Work
If you donâ€™t trust your directors to do the work before the meeting, why are they still on the board? When you recruit capable people onto a board, trust that theyâ€™ve done their homework and come to the meetings prepared to discuss key topics and make smart decisions. You can streamline meetings when you arenâ€™t reiterating points that have been clearly made in board documents. Part of that means getting materials out ahead of time and giving directors time to prepare, which is easier when you use a board portal.
#3 Focus On Key Decisions
Effective meetings need a purpose; in the case of a board meeting, itâ€™s a key strategic decision. Handle routine matters at the beginning of the meeting and move on to a discussion of key issues facing the organization. A detailed discussion and concise presentation led by the board chair and CEO should engage directors whether they need to vote that day or not. After the board chair presents, hear from every director. They were elected to bring their diverse and expert opinions to the board, so moderate to make sure everyone is heard.
#4 Write Better Minutes
Better minutes take less time at the beginning of meetings and do a better job briefing directors on past discussions and decisions. You can find tips for creating better board minutes from experts like board portal software vendors and start improving your minute-taking right away. Writing better minutes means:
- Capturing the vitals, like key decisions
- Avoiding acronyms and jargon
- Staying succinct
- Formatting resolutions to stand out
- Consistently formatting
#5 Use A Board Portal
Board portal technology makes it easier to practice the methods above. Board portal platforms such as Aprio Boardroom are convenient and secure ways to improve board room efficiency and put board documents in your directorsâ€™ hands. With the right tools, your directors will come better prepared and with keener insights. Start comparing board portal options now and start 2018 with a whole new outlook on board meetings.