Understanding board roles, meeting goals, and carrying out crucial board communication before and after is necessary for an effective board meeting.
Additionally, board meetings include fundamental procedures that adhere to governance principles outlined in board bylaws, which industry standards may impact.
Don’t get too caught up in the details of board meeting structure and procedure if you are new to the position of board chair or have recently joined a board. Instead, it’s best to consider productive board meetings in terms of the tasks that need to be managed and the actions that people must take.
How Should You Get Ready to Preside Over a Meeting?
Like with any new position, it’s helpful to familiarize yourself with the company and board of directors before your first board meeting.
Inquire about the board’s composition, committees, and current members. Recognize the areas of knowledge that each board member brings to the table and become familiar with their personalities. Inquire about the board’s strengths and areas for improvement, as well as any issues with managing the distinctions between the CEO and board positions.
Look at the board’s bylaws, important industry rules, meeting agendas, and a selection of minutes from the previous year.
How to Manage a Board Meeting Efficiently?
There are five stages to complete in order to prepare for running a board meeting. Here is an overview of them; we’ll go into more detail about each below.
First, Define the Job of the Board Chair
The chair must be skilled at facilitating conversation during board meetings so that each member has a chance to speak. They must also stay away from the chair’s usual mistakes, such as not interfering with management and not silencing opposing viewpoints, but rather keeping discussions concise and focused.
Second, Ascertain that Board Members Are Aware of Their Responsibilities
Board members must take seriously their obligation to prepare for meetings and contribute effectively in order to offer a business significant direction and risk oversight. Understanding their position, which is to freely speak out on certain strategic issues (and which is very different from being a company executive), is necessary for this.
Third, Interact With the Board Before, During, and After the Meeting
Admired board chairs put in just as much effort between meetings as they do during them to solicit board opinion, mentor, and oversee board members. Plan pre-meeting contacts with directors to establish the meeting’s agenda, follow up to get comments and reiterate board responsibilities, eventually ensuring that the board is fulfilling its duties.
Fourth, Effectively Utilize Meeting Time With the Correct Agenda and Leadership
The foundation of a successful board meeting is a well-prepared agenda and good meeting leadership who pays close attention to the time. It is the responsibility of the board chair to keep board meetings from veering off subject, becoming repetitive, or turning into a platform for a select few to speak out rather than an open discussion involving the entire board.