A well-written agenda for board meetings is one of the most learnboardroom.com essential elements of an effective and productive board meeting. A strong agenda is a framework for discussion, making decisions, and allows everyone involved to leave the meeting with the same understanding of what was discussed and taken a decision. A well-organized agenda for board meetings can help you move quickly between topics of the meeting and avoid getting bogged down in the details and make your meetings more engaging for everyone.

Start with the most critical items. Starting with the most important items of your agenda enables the leadership to get feedback and start discussions when attendees’ minds are fresh. This method can entice attendees to arrive early because they are aware that the most exciting discussions will begin right away.

Review all reports that are submitted by board members, committees, and executives. This is necessary to ensure that any required follow-ups are made. It can also help prevent spending time in meetings reviewing old business issues that should have been discussed by the board’s various committees.

Give enough time to long-term discussions and strategic discussions. This is essential for the board’s ability guide the organization successfully. Be sure to include a section for “old business” and “new business,” so that the board can review all of the relevant follow-ups and proposed new strategies.

Long reports and other routine matters can delay meetings and distract board members away from the most important issues. The “parking lot agenda” or “consent schedule” could reduce the amount of time spent on these items.

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