How to Have an Effective Board Meeting

A good board meeting is an essential element of good governance. It facilitates deliberate discussion and decision making that will propel your organisation forward. If the meeting is centered around the discussion of strategic goals or discussing program success and challenges, or addressing important legal issues it is crucial to have an open and lively discussion. Board meetings that are efficient and effective will be well-planned and include the timely distribution of information along with a comprehensive and informative agenda, and clear communication of the process of making decisions.

1. Make sure that the agenda of the meeting is communicated to all participants prior to the meeting and is easily accessible.

It is impossible to conduct an effective board meeting if the participants are looking for essential materials as they are chatting or, worse when the materials are not available in advance. This can be avoided by giving all agenda items and materials at least 3-4 days prior to the meeting.

2. Start the meeting on time.

It is essential to start the board meeting in time. Board members will be more motivated if they arrive prepared. This can be done by ensuring that all relevant materials are included in the agenda, and by limit the number of discussions to the items most crucial to the meeting. It is also possible to have the meeting outside of the boardroom, like at a program site or breakfast gatherings, to offer a change of scenery and stimulate discussions and ideas.

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