Hosting meetings of executive or advisory boards isn’t a walk in the park.
After all, running an effective board meeting requires an authentic understanding of the meeting objectives and board member roles – and carrying out the required communication before and after the meeting itself. You’ll also need to ensure your meetings follow the governance rules set in your board bylaws, which specific industry regulations can influence.
While it’s crucial to factor in the mechanics of your board meeting process and structure, the goal is to ensure everyone does their part and carries out the required activities to accomplish your set goals.
5 Tips To Improve Board Meetings
This guide covers five tips on how to run a board meeting more effectively, so you can optimize your time and effort for better productivity and efficiency.
Create organized agendas
A solid agenda is a critical driving force behind your board meetings. It keeps your discussion focused on the matters at hand.
Besides telling your attendees the topics you’ll be tackling, your agenda can also set your meeting’s tone, encouraging focus in meetings. Plan and develop essential and powerful agendas to help you conduct collaborative, productive, and engaging board meetings.
Follow these tips to create clear agendas that help keep your board meetings on track.
Determine whether a topic is meant to seek information, inform, or help the members decide. Knowing each item’s end goal upfront makes it easier to focus on achieving the objective. Everyone can avoid getting sidetracked and wasting time.
Prioritize the most essential items. Organize your agenda based on importance and prioritize each item accordingly. Starting with the most pressing agenda items allows you to engage the members in discussions when everyone’s minds are fresh.
Beginning your meetings with the top items can also encourage the board members to be punctual and avoid missing essential discussions.
Develop a thorough and dynamic agenda to give your board meetings a clear focus and direction. Also, send your agenda to the attendees in advance to give everyone time to prepare and bring valuable insights to the table.
Automate repetitive tasks
An efficient and effective meeting requires loads of preparation beforehand. The preparation process involves a lot of tedious tasks, such as creating, sending, and tracking RSVPs and preparing the necessary tools, such as the systems you use for voting.
Manually doing all this makes it easy to miss something that could hinder the board meeting’s efficiency and effectiveness. The solution? Automate your routine tasks, including sending email invitations and other board meeting-related activities.
For instance, you can use board meeting software that sends automated email reminders to attendees who haven’t confirmed attendance. You can also use digital platforms to collect and tally votes automatically, whether on-site or remotely.
Automate repetitive, tedious board meeting tasks to streamline the entire process, from the preparation to the after-meeting phase. You can save time and energy while ensuring you run seamless board meetings.
Specify roles and responsibilities
Something as simple as not being clear on who does what and the projects or initiatives the attendees are involved in can stall your board meetings (or any meeting).
For instance, directors who become increasingly engaged in your company can make it challenging to track all the programs, projects, and activities they’re involved in. The key is to specify the directors’ roles and responsibilities and work your way from there.
Use reliable governance technologies or platforms to easily organize, assign, and track all the board members’ engagements.
Doing so makes getting information and updates on each role and initiative easy. You’ll reduce the potentially lengthy back-and-forth of getting everyone and their functions and engagements straight. You’ll have the necessary data beforehand and prepare everything for a smoother board meeting.
Streamline information development and delivery
One of the common frustrating aspects of board meetings is the long lead time for the meeting documents. As such, you’ll need to promptly identify and deliver critical content, including the agenda.
Failing to do so can lead to running board meetings with incomplete data or you do not have the latest information. This can waste your time and effort and make your meetings less effective.
You can leverage a digital governance solution to streamline your board meeting information and delivery processes, allowing you to efficiently distribute all the necessary documents via a cloud-based portal or data management feature.
Digital governance solutions also simplify making last-minute changes to documents and agendas. You can update all the attendees with the latest information close to the meeting date easily, so everyone stays in the loop.
Provide easy access to board documents
Regardless of the resources you send their way, participants have much to gain by having access to more complete libraries of information. Quick and easy access to relevant documents helps you and the directors better prepare for board meetings. The better prepared critical stakeholders are, the more efficient and effective the board meeting is since everything is laid out and all the necessary documents and data are ready.
Use board meeting software that allows directors and designated users access to a centralized and searchable board document archive. Leverage platforms with search functionality to simplify storing, finding, and retrieving board documents, data, and reports.
You can save loads of time and effort from manually combing through mountains of information, allowing you to get the data you need quickly and facilitating seamless board meetings.
With our five tips, you can ensure your board meetings are more efficient and productive.
Many things go into running board meetings — from sufficient preparation to efficient follow-ups. Any missing critical parts of the meeting preparation alone can significantly impact your entire board meeting’s quality.
Make the most of your board meetings by gauging your board members’ thoughts and uncover valuable strategic guidance. While successful board meetings can look different for each organization, stick to the best practices. Follow the tips in this guide to help you achieve your meeting’s goals efficiently and effectively.
If necessary, take extra steps to encourage seamless collaboration and establish a healthy and productive meeting environment. All your efforts can pay off when your board meetings become more effective, and you can get things done instead of wasting time and resources.