Guidelines for Effective Board Meetings

Effective board meetings are crucial to the success of any organization, whether it is a start-up or a seasoned firm. To be successful, they must have an agenda that is well-planned along with a clear and consistent structure, and a structured deliberation. These guidelines will allow board members to focus on the most crucial issues and offer their perspective without being distracted by other agenda items.

Make sure to concentrate on the major decision-making processes the board must take and don’t spend a lot of time on updates. Start the meeting with the most important issues that require a decision. This will ensure that these discussions consume the majority of the time.

Encourage a respectful and cooperative discussion where all views are considered equally. This will help build a culture of trust and openness in communication, and ensure that all parties are actively engaged in productive discussion. Make sure that the process of voting is fair and transparent and that each member of the board are given equal opportunities to participate (see below «Manage Time»).

Foster accountability for the follow-up and execution of decisions, actions, and recommendations that are made at every board meeting. This can be achieved through regular report on progress, clear division of responsibilities, and systems for tracking and documenting outcomes.

Make time at the beginning or at the end of each board meeting to have an executive session which allows non-executive board members to discuss issues of importance with members of the management team privately. This assures that the Board knows the CEO’s view.