Using a Board Meeting Schedule to Maximize Your Time Together

A board meeting agenda is an outline to help you keep your meetings on the right track and productive. It is essential to choose substance over style when it comes to maximizing the time your board members must work together.

Start your meeting with an official call to call the meeting to order and then an introduction by the facilitator or chair of the board. The next step is to adopt the minutes from the previous meeting or the financial report. It is also possible to review committee updates or administrative tasks. It’s a good idea to set aside a section for discussions on strategic planning or other governance issues. It could also be beneficial to include an executive session on sensitive or confidential issues in accordance with your organization’s bylaws and applicable laws.

Pay attention and take note of every point. It is important to raise any concerns or questions you have regarding the presentation and let your fellow board members respond. Be mindful not to go off topic and discuss issues that aren’t part of the agenda. This could waste valuable time in meetings, and divert attention away from the most important issues on your board’s agenda. You can stop this from happening by adding an «parking area» item at the top of your agenda. This will allow you to postpone random topics to a later time.

Finally, be sure to give your board the agenda at least one week prior to your scheduled meeting. This gives everyone ample time to review the items and plan their thoughts for the meeting. It’s also a good idea to include the agenda with any supporting documents that board members will need to be able to fully understand the topic that is being discussed.