Running a Successful Board Meeting

The success of a board meeting requires a lively agenda that includes a mix of discussions and updates. How do you ensure that the board is actively engaged in discussions that help develop strategies that can propel the business forward, rather than simply discussing the information that has been distributed?

Prioritizing the most important points of discussion at the top of the list is key. This will motivate the leadership to energize meetings by focusing on the important discussion earlier. It also sets an expectation that the gathering is more than a mere summary of reports. This will lessen the tendency to get sidetracked by new topics and spend time on activities that could be put off until future sessions or incorporated into appendices of the board book.

After the board has discussed the organization’s strategy and reached a consensus the next step is to create an action plan. This involves identifying concrete metrics that are aligned to those goals, such a net Promoter Score, levels of customer satisfaction and retention and regional sales or the turnover of employees.

In the course of discussion, it is important that the board considers the pros and cons of each option. This will ensure that everyone is aware of what they’re committing to, and that the decisions will have a positive impact on the business. It is also essential to establish a culture of respect, to ensure that the board members are comfortable expressing their opinions and challenging preconceived beliefs in a respectful manner.

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