How to Keep Your Board Meeting Schedule on Track

Most of us have been in an executive meeting where the discussion veered off the subject or was prolonged. Although it might not seem like a big issue when it happens try this out often, repeatedly off-topic discussions could lower morale and result in problems with organization down the road. It is also important to keep in mind that board meetings that are over-time can rob the board of the chance to consider and approve important action items.

A common cause of lengthy board meetings is stacking the agenda with lengthy reports and other routine items. The more information you provide members the more likely that they will go through. Restrict reporting during board meetings. Inquire of committee members and officers chairs to provide bullet points instead of a minute-by- minute summary of what has been completed or is currently being done. It’s also beneficial to include a “parking lot” item on the agenda for items that require discussion but are not considered priority. This will prevent new topics from distracting attention from agenda items that should be the main focus.

Keeping to a strict agenda is a key way to ensure that the board is able to engage in constructive dialogue and take a decisive decision. This can be achieved by starting the meeting with the most important issues and allowing time at the end of the meeting to let attendees ask questions or bring up any issues they are still worried about. This will allow leadership to tap into the collective wisdom of board members and leave with great ideas to propel the organization forward.