How to Have an Effective Board Meeting

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A successful board meeting is an essential component of good governance. It provides for deliberate discussion and decision making that will propel your organisation forward. It is important to have an active and thorough discussion, regardless of whether the meeting involves discussing the strategic goals, program successes and challenges, and/or important legal issues. Well-planned meetings with an informative agenda and clear communication about the process of making decisions will be efficient and effective.

1. Make sure that the agenda has been distributed in advance of the meeting and made available to all attendees.

Nothing hinders an effective board meeting more than a group of members in a rush to review crucial materials as they are discussed or even worse, having no access to the materials prior to the meeting. This is easily avoidable by disseminating the agenda and all other necessary documents at least 3-4 days ahead of the meeting.

2. Begin the meeting promptly.

Board members are at their most productive when they are prepared for the meeting, therefore it is imperative to ensure that the meeting begins promptly. This can be done by making sure that all relevant material are included on the agenda and by limiting the number of discussions to those topics most critical to the meeting. It could also be beneficial to have the meeting outside of the boardroom, for instance at a conference site or breakfast gatherings, to offer an opportunity for a change of scene and encourage new ideas and conversations.

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