Board Meeting Best Practices

Ninan Chacko (CEO of Travel Leaders Group) said, “the best board meetings are those where the board helps the CEO refine, adjust and pressure-test where the company is heading.” But how do you go about having a successful and productive board meeting? Here are some tips.

1. Build an agenda

This may seem like an obvious one, but as CEO’s we are all very busy and sometimes planning an agenda is the last thing we want to do. Create an agenda that is engaging as well as instructive. Part of the agenda that you need to plan goes in to tip #2. Focus on those small details, they won’t go unnoticed.

2. Choose the right venue

We hear it all the time in real estate. Location, Location, Location. You want your meeting to be in a space that is easily accessible to everyone on the board. If your board is coming in from out of town, plan the meeting at a hotel with a conference room near the airport. This will keep the board members relaxed and comfortable which will help in having a more productive meeting. You also need to make sure the venue is high quality. Internet breaking down or the conference phone not working can real put a dent in your day as well as everything going effectively. If you are dealing with confidential information make sure the room is out of earshot for others.

3. Plan seating arrangements

Although this may seem childish, it can really help in getting your meeting started in time as well as keeping it running smoothly.

4. Make it fun

How often do you go into a meeting dreading it?  Make sure your meeting moves along nicely. A way of doing this is by having engaging materials as well as a good agenda that allows you to not stall.  

5. Food and Drink

This is an appreciated as well as wise investment. Along with the point before, you want this to be a relaxing environment, food has a way of doing that. The quality of food and drink is also important. Leave your board members impressed rather than upset.

6. Send the agenda to the board

This is especially important if you plan on discussing controversial topics.  Getting people’s first opinion isn’t always exactly what they believe. By providing them with the agenda as well as what you will be discussing, they will be able to work ahead to come up with their thoughts and ideas. This will also keep the meeting rolling.

What things have been done in your board meetings that you really appreciate? Send us your ideas!