A well-defined strategic board agenda is the framework to run each meeting. It ensures that each discussion is able to achieve its goal and avoids getting overwhelmed by the details. But planning a strategic board meeting requires more than just the right format for your agenda. Board members must also be prepared and ready to participate in productive discussions.
Reading the materials for the board prior to the meeting is one of the most beneficial things a board member can do to ensure a successful event. By doing this they will be able to familiarize themselves with the information and know what they want to ask during the meeting. Furthermore, it is an excellent way to increase participation by encouraging everyone to bring their unique viewpoints to the table.
Focusing on the content and not the format is another important factor to ensure a productive board meeting. Board meetings must be efficient and focused, therefore it is vital to arrange topics in a systematic manner, starting with the ones that are most crucial and timely. Then, move to topics that build upon the previous ones. Don’t forget to reserve a part of the meeting to discuss any new business. This is the ideal time for board members to engage in generative discussions that will help move the organization forward.
In recent years Boards have been asked to perform more hands-on work. This could lead to meetings getting longer than necessary and deviating from the subject. To prevent this, keep the information on the board’s dashboard at a strategic level.