How to Have an Effective Board Meeting

A good board meeting is a crucial element of a good governance. It provides for thoughtful discussion and decision making which will help propel your organization forward. It is essential to hold an open and comprehensive discussion, whether the meeting is discussing goals for the future or program challenges and successes or other important legal issues. Meetings that are planned well with a detailed agenda and clear communication of the decision-making process will be efficient and productive.

1. Make sure that the agenda is distributed in advance of the meeting and is available to all participants.

Nothing derails an effective board meeting more than members who are trying to review important documents while they are being discussed or worse, having no access to the materials in advance of the meeting. This is easily avoidable by distributing the agenda and all other materials required at minimum 3-4 days prior to the date of the meeting.

2. Start the meeting on time.

It is essential to start the running a smooth and effective board meeting board meeting in time. Board members are more enthusiastic if they are prepared. This can be accomplished by making sure that all relevant material are included on the agenda, and also by restricting the number of discussions to the items that are most important to the meeting. It is also possible to have the meeting outside of the boardroom, such as at a program site or breakfast gatherings, to offer a change of scenery and stimulate discussions and ideas.