How You Open a Board Meeting

The way you start a board meeting can be a chance to establish a positive tone. This can be accomplished by clearly stating the purpose of the meeting as well as setting the time limit for agenda items. This will ensure that the board is able to meet its objectives at every meeting and will avoid wasting time on issues that are not critical.

Start the meeting on time so that you get the most out of every minute. To accomplish this, prioritize the issues that must be discussed and ensure that all participants have the materials they need. Distribute an agenda that includes all the necessary documents and other information, including minutes of previous meetings as well as financial reports, updates on committee presentations, projects and proposals.

Concentrate the discussion on topics of high importance that are aligned with the strategic plans, and that can take care to manage the risk. Limit long reports and other routine business to a quarter of the meeting so that the remaining time can be reserved for discussions about strategy. To aid in this, board members should be encouraged to present short bullet points describing the information they require instead of reading lengthy reports.

Review the progress of the organization since the last meeting. Include key milestones and areas that need improvement. The board then has the option of deciding whether to implement strategies to encourage growth and overcome obstacles. This is also a great moment to review the upcoming board elections and offer any training or orientation for new members.

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