Using a Board Meeting Schedule to Maximize Your Time Together

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An agenda for board meetings is a plan to ensure that your meetings are productive and on track. Substance over style is important when it comes to maximizing the time that your board members need to collaborate.

Start your meeting by giving an official call to begin the meeting followed by an introduction by the facilitator or chair of the board. You might then move on to adopt the minutes from the previous meeting or the financial report. You can also look over the latest committee reports or perform administrative tasks. It’s a good idea, next, to reserve a section of the meeting for discussions about strategic planning and other governance-related issues. You could also consider having an executive session on sensitive or confidential topics if that is permitted by your organization’s bylaws and applicable laws.

Take your time and listen carefully at every point. You should raise any questions or concerns you have regarding the presentation and let your fellow board members respond. Be careful not to wander off and begin to discuss discussion topics that don’t belong on the agenda. This could waste valuable meeting time and distract attention from the most important issues on your board’s agenda. You can avoid this by adding an “parking area” item to the end of your agenda. This will allow you to push random topics to the future.

The last thing to do is ensure that you send your board with an agenda at minimum a week before the meeting. This will give everyone ample time to study and prepare for the meeting. It’s also a good idea to include the agenda along with any other supporting documents that board members will require to comprehend the topic at hand.

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