Board meetings are an amazing chance to shape the direction of a business by bringing together brain power to navigate through stormy waters and calmer waters. If done well, they can profoundly change the direction of an organization. A meeting can quickly turn ineffective if there isn’t a clear structure.

It is important to set the tone early by calling the meeting to order and taking up any issues that are personal or of a purely formal nature. After ensuring a quorum is present, you can move on to the next item on the agenda, and then start the main discussion. This is where you will discuss the major changes to the organisation and the most important forks in the road, and the strategies that will guide your company into the future.

Reduce the length of meetings by encouraging committee and officer chairpersons to present bullet-point summaries. This will let you focus more time discussing strategic issues and your guests won’t be distracted or bored by long conversations.

Make sure to send all relevant documents to your attendees before the meeting (committee and staff reports, Board packs, and any contextualising documents). This will save time during the meeting and encourage attendees to plan ahead. Start the meeting with any clarifications or follow-up questions that came out of the reading material. Then jump right into the most important discussions.

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