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How to Conduct Board Meetings Effectively

Board meetings are crucial to the success of any organization. They need a lot of work and commitment from both the leadership team and the board members. How can you run your board meeting in a way that is productive and efficient? The answer lies in careful planning with a well-organized agenda and the timely distribution of materials, smart scheduling, suitable locations, and the ease of access to material.

Begin the meeting with an overview of the agenda and welcoming everyone in attendance, particularly new members or special guests. Establish the tone by stating the purpose of the board’s meetings and clearly explaining how decisions will be made. It is important to adhere to the quorum requirements of your documents governing the board and ensure that all members are present.

Discuss the most important agenda items first. This will ensure that you give them enough time to be considered and discussed. This will help drive the most engaging and energizing conversations and help you stick to the timeframe you have set for your meeting.

Explain how you will make decisions during the meeting, be it through consensus or voting. This will ensure that everyone on the board is aware of and accepts the decision-making processes, which is crucial to effective decision-making.

Be sure to give the board ample opportunity to discuss unresolved and new issues, referred to as “new business.” These are typically discussions with the intention of settling a decision. If you decide that additional research is required or a decision is not able to be reached during the meeting it’s beneficial to include an agenda section for these issues. These can then be revisited at subsequent meetings or discussed in follow-up discussions.