A well-designed agenda for board meetings is the base for productive meetings. However, it’s not the only thing. The most important thing is a motivated and prepared board of directors that is well-organized and motivated. A well-planned agenda for a board meeting does more than define the format of a meeting. It encourages discussion and acknowledges different opinions.
A competent chairperson is essential to conduct a meeting efficiently regardless of the agenda. A competent board chair is able to keep the meeting on topic and avoid discussions that diverge from the original topic, and respect the time constraints.
The chair of the board will start the meeting and then make a few welcoming remarks. Then they ask if anyone wants to make any changes or additions to the agenda and whether there is a quorum present. Then, they go through the minutes of the previous meeting, and then approve them. They then discuss and vote on any actions items.
To avoid meetings becoming too long, set the appropriate amount of time per agenda item. This ensures an effective discussion without getting bogged down in unnecessary detail. Giving board members time estimates for each agenda item helps them plan and block off their agendas accordingly.
A good agenda for the board will include a section entitled «big picture» that allows board members to discuss the company’s vision and present high-level updates. This section includes a place to include committee reports, and it also highlights any unfinished items from the last meeting that should be addressed.