For your board meeting to be a success, there are many steps to be taken, many of them “behind the scenes,” as much depends on the organization of the meeting. At the same time, board members also need to understand their roles, responsibilities, goals, and act on those goals. In this article, we’ll tell you what you need to do to make your meeting as productive as possible.
Basic steps to prepare for a board meeting
Below we outline the basic steps that must be followed and followed in order to make board meeting preparations complete and successful:
- Select a board chairperson – At a board meeting, the presence of the chairperson is simply essential. He or she oversees the entire meeting, opens and closes the meeting, and makes sure that all discussions are strictly on point and that participants have a chance to speak up
- Board members should know exactly what their role is -the board should be well prepared for the upcoming meeting to be aware of the issues, risks, and purpose of the meeting to be held. Participants are required to offer their own solutions that accurately fit the current issues and respect the opinions of their peers
- Make sure there is communication before, during, and after the meeting – the meeting board should be in constant communication with other board members. The chair should set aside time to answer any questions participants may have, whether before, during, or after the meeting
- Preparing the documents for the meeting correctly – the agenda and board guidelines should be clear and concise, and all participants should be given at least a week’s notice of the agenda. The chair should ensure that the discussion does not deviate from the items on the agenda
Duties of the Chairman during the Board of Directors
The most important thing for the chairman to remember is that he is a facilitator, not a leader. He is responsible for ensuring that all board members are informed and in time to receive agendas or any changes. The chairman should always remain impartial and keep an eye on the overall work of the board. He should ensure that all participants have a chance to speak, allow time for everyone, and cut them off if a participant gets too “big of a deal”.
Responsibilities of Board Members
There can be both experienced board members and new board members on the board. Of course, each is required to fully research the issue before the meeting, reading reports, archives of previous meetings, and agendas. It would benefit your meeting if directors wrote down their questions and their suggestions for solving the problem before the meeting, and during the meeting patiently waited their turn for comments or ideas.
Getting the agenda right
Make sure your agenda follows the classic meeting structure, i.e., has the following items:
- Quorum calling the meeting in order
- Approval of the previous meeting’s agenda
- Management and committee reports -allow enough time to sound out and review them
- Old, new, and other business
- Closing the meeting
The agenda should prompt other attendees to order the major topics, and be clearly stated. Therefore, it is best not to put too many items on the agenda. At the beginning of the meeting, the chair should state the purpose of your meeting, and it should be spelled out so that directors focus on the key issue and get rid of distractions.
The chairman should try and engage all directors in the discussion, for example by asking each director to make one key point about one issue or another.