The successful running of a board meeting requires careful planning, preparing and sharing agenda items well ahead of the meeting. It is also important to focus on the discussion topics, as well as to record and keep track of decisions and actions in a clear manner. This allows for efficient meetings and responsible follow-up, which helps companies achieve their goals.

To make your meetings efficient and productive as possible, it’s essential to familiarize yourself with each board member’s expertise, interests and expectations. This knowledge helps you to tailor agenda items and encourages active participation. Understanding each board member helps you determine the best times to hold meetings, and provide convenient locations and a efficient space for discussions.

Prioritizing the most important issues is essential for efficiency and effectiveness. As a general rule limit the number of subjects that are discussed in the meeting to two topics per one hour. Each topic should be allowed the chance to last for 30 minutes. If the business is struggling in any way, it may be appropriate to devote a larger portion of the meeting to discussing hopes and future plans instead of updates.

All documents (including reports from committees staff reports, committee reports, and Board packs and other documents that provide context for upcoming decisions) should be readily accessible prior to the meeting to maximize Board engagement. Make sure that all of these materials are uploaded on your board portal and available to the Board prior to the meeting and at the meeting.

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