A successful board meeting is an essential component of good governance. It is where the Board of Directors comes together to discuss and make decisions on critical company issues, making sure that the organisation is moving in the right direction. It might seem daunting however there are simple guidelines that will enable you to conduct productive meetings and make informed decisions.
It is important to prepare ahead and communicate the agenda with all participants before the meeting. A clear agenda will outline the most important issues to be discussed, and assign reasonable amounts of time for each discussion. This will prevent meetings from drifting off-topic, getting bogged down in a rerun or becoming a forum for only a few to contribute versus an inclusive dialogue among the whole Board.
Prioritize only two important questions to be addressed at each meeting. This is a best practice that helps to concentrate the discussion and also limit the number items to be reviewed in the meeting. It also allows time to allow a discussion and decision to be made on each issue, not only updating. The board book permits simple sharing of updates and a little time can be allocated to them during the meeting.
Make clear the way in which decisions are made. This will ensure that all participants are on the same page and are aware of the decision-making process. It also establishes expectations for the types of discussions that will take place during the meeting, for example, finding common ground and discussing the various perspectives or resolving disagreements through a voting procedure.