Developing a Strategic Board Agenda
The agenda of every meeting should be clearly defined. It helps ensure that each discussion has the my response intended goal and avoids getting bogged down in details. However, planning a successful strategic board meeting takes more than just the perfect format for your agenda. Board members must be prepared and ready to participate in productive discussions.
One of the most important things that a board can do to prepare for a successful meeting is to read the documents for the board in advance. In this way they can become familiar with the material and be aware of what they’d like to talk about during the meeting. This is a great way to increase participation by encouraging everyone’s unique perspective to be incorporated into the discussion.
Focusing on the content and not the format is another important aspect to be aware of in order to plan a productive board meeting. Board meetings must be efficient and focused, so it is essential to sequence topics logically, starting with the ones that are most urgent and timely. Then, move on to the ones that build on those. Don’t forget to dedicate a portion of the meeting for new business. This is the ideal time for board members to engage in productive discussions that can help propel the company forward.
With more hands-on work being requested of Boards over the past few years it’s not uncommon for meetings to drift off subject matter and take more lengthy than they should be. A good way to prevent this from happening is to keep the information on a board dashboard at an appropriate level and prioritize it.